Introducing…

She is ours!!! No words, just pics. 

  
  
 
  
  
  
   
   
   
   
   
 

Doctor (Lekarz)

Hey who doesn’t love going to the doctor – a toddler who doesn’t know that she’s going to the doctor that’s who. It all started nice and pleasant. Inviting room for the kiddies. A receptionist that spoke wonderful English. Then health questions about V from the doctor. Easy right? Then came the physical exam that was expected by me, not by her. That’s when the little lady lost it. The doctor went quick seeing the urgency of the situation. He’s apparently done many an adoption examination paperwork. The whole little girl getting her reflexes checked was cool to watch. Her little legs popped like they were supposed to. Never seen it done before, not even with the boys.

All in all, everything went well and a clean bill of health was awarded. Oh and most importantly, no TB test required. Little lady is under the age two, therefore no test is required. Thank the Lord. A blood test then a chest x-ray that would go over well, don’t you think? NOT!! This little lady is strong for her size. I can’t imagine trying to hold her down for a few seconds. Her older brother, Master “A” is pretty strong for his size and I’ve had to hold him down for a blood test before. Actually, it took four of us. Lori, two nurses, and me all had to essentially lay on top of him. Can’t imagine what it would take, but no worries. Whoohooo! Not necessary!!!

Other good day in Warsaw.

Bill

Court (Kort)

What can you say about going to court. Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes it’s scary, sometimes you feel as though it’s a waste of your time. For us, I believe, it fell into the exciting and scary with anxiety sprinkled on top. Standing in front of judge is bad enough when you can understand what’s being said but now imagine it’s being spoken in Polish. Imagine, as you try to understand every word that’s being said and the only things you can make are Bill and Lori and your address. (Side note: the judge fumbling over our address is funny, because a lot of the time people in America can’t even say it right) Your Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur Conversational Polish can’t help you because the words are not even mentioned until you get to level five and volume 4 respectively. You are hanging on every word the court assigned interpreter says. These proceedings are very serious and all deal with the future of a adorable little girl.

Time to paint a picture:

As you stand in the center of the room, you are standing behind what looks like a prayer alter without the kneeling bench. Consider this where you will “take the stand.” In front of you are seated 4 individuals. Dead center is the Judge. On either side of him is two lay or lower judges with the 4th individual seated at the end of the table. She is the court reporter. To my left and right are tables perpendicular to the made judge table. (yes, that’s right I said perpendicular in a blog post – eh, engineer what can you do) The table to my left seats the prosecutor. She represents the Polish government in Elk that has the best interests of Victoria at the forefront. To my right at the other table is our lawyer representing us. That’s right she’s not sitting beside us at “our table.” This is how they do it. All lawyers and judges are wearing black robes with colors signifying their specific duty in this preceding. Green piping and a green ascot are worn by our lawyer and red by the prosecutor. It reminded me of some legal proceeding in England that I saw on TV. As you are still standing in the middle, behind you are 4 bench seats reminiscent of church pews.

Now court begins. Through the interpreter, the file of adoption for one Victoria P has been brought forth. The Moody’s have submitted the appropriate paperwork for petition to adopt Victoria. No new additions to the paperwork have to be made. (Everything is good to go) After those formalities are out of the way, the Judge asks for one to testify. Lori volunteers to go first. Questions from the judge included: Is your intent to adopt this child? Yes. Were you aware of her circumstances prior to your decision? Yes. What is your impression of the child? Tell me about her. The judge then turned it over to the prosecutor who had no questions. Our lawyer asked a few to help ram home our commitment to V: Aware of her health? Yes. How will you care for her when you return home? Do you have adequate insurance to cover her in addition to your existing children? Yes.

My turn: Judge asks if I complete agree with Lori’s testimony. I said yes, of course. He again asked the question what do you think about her. After a few more questions, he asked one final question of me. “It is my understanding that you will remind after your wife returns home to your boys. You will be here by yourself with her. Are you scared or worried?” My answer was truthful and with a bit of humor.   I admitted that is was little scared or intimidated by this circumstance, but I then said that I am an engineer and I will adapt to the situation as needed. After a interpreter delay, a few chuckles were heard.  Our lawyer asked a few questions and then offered an open ended question that allowed me to plead for as short an appeal period as possible. In so many words, I said that while I love Poland, I would like to be back home as soon as possible with all of us together as one big family. I believe that I was fairly eloquent. Remember, all questions and our answers have to be relayed through the interpreter: question-translate-answer-translate. Imagine all that floating around in your head.

The court then asked that the foster care family testify. The foster care mom was up first. Questions from the judge were quick and I only mainly heard her translated response. She said that she thought we were wonderful and that she felt that V would have a great family with all the love and care that she needs. Foster care dad almost seemed like a politician. Not all of what he said to us made it through translation, but it appeared very sincere. Lots of hand movements were his thing. He said that though he and his wife love V, they are much older and will not be able to give her the care that she will need that a loving family can give her.

Closing arguments included a final plea by our lawyer and the shortened time and V’s new full name on paper. We exited the room for a moment and then all returned. Court decision – she yours!!!! And the court will reduce the appeal time to the shortest amount possible. Tear, tear, sniff, sniff.

At the conclusion, we were handed a new adoption decree with the appeal ending in two weeks so that visa and passport paperwork can begin. Lots of hugs to the foster care family and some gifts to say thank you. It was a very Blessed Day. It couldn’t have happened any better than it did.

Rest assured, Lady V was under the loving care of our lawyer’s partner. He was wheeling her around the nearby park until we were finished. She slept through most of it… until he stopped moving the stroller. 🙂

One of the best days of my life.

Bill

Bonding (Klejenie)

Hello everybody!!! I know it has been a little while since our last post, but lots of thing have happened since then. Major ones!! The nature of the events don’t lend themselves to photos so the next couple of post won’t be too visual.

Once the bonding period was complete then we returned to Elk, the town where Victoria was born. Three hour trip to the middle of nowhere. You’ve heard of the idea you can’t get there from here meaning there is not an easy way to get to Elk. There’s not. Heck, our driver got lost our first time to go get her there. Our first day was a meeting with the social worker and the child psychologist. The social worker we already had a meeting with in Warsaw. The child psychologist was new to the discussion. She asked some of the same questions that everyone else has done. “How is she doing? How is she playing? Does she respond to you both? Etc.” Of course, they are trying to get a handle on her well being and whether she is compatible with us. Their big question at the end of the meeting…”What do you think about her?” Our Response, “We love her and want to take her home?”

Then I believe one more question was asked, “Is there anything you want to ask us?” Our response, “Can you help shorten the time so that we can go home earlier?” They said they would try and they did.

From what we would find out later, their reports for the court including recommendations that appeal should not last any longer than absolutely necessary because they felt the full family unit needed to be put together as soon as possible. We were very appreciative of their support. Keep in mind, their duty is to the welfare of Victoria, but they are also thinking about her new family as well and bringing us all together as quickly as possible would be good for her, the both, and mommy and daddy.

Bill

Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. Our sweet D (11) was born in the Year of the Monkey. It is appropriate that we are preparing for our court date tomorrow to adopt his little sister, who could be a female carbon copy of him at this age (minus his blue eyes). 

We ate supper at Smętek Pub below our apartment. Chinese New Year, Polish Style, with Spinach/Ricotta and Meat Pierogis.  Sure wish we had some chopsticks. 

   
 

History

Yesterday starting early, early yesterday morning.  It was past midnight and I was reading one of my favorite authors, Lee Child.  Jack Reacher was kicking butt and taking names.  Did I need to go to bed, you betcha.  Did I?  Nope.  I wish I had.  Around 12:30, Lil’ Miss woke up.  Trying to be the helpful one and feeling that we made a good connection over nap time yesterday, I, SuperDad, was determined to take care of it.  Well I was wrong.  Ever been wrong before. I was at 1:00 in the morning, and then at 2, and on to 3.  She could not get comfortable any way she tried to lay down.  I’d pat the behind enough to settle her and then slowly stop 3-4 minutes later.  She would then immediately wake up again.  This happened over and over for the next several hours.  When my arms/wrist/hand grew tired, I resorted to the rub her back method.  Every time I would slow down and eventually stop, she’d wake up.  At 3:45, Dr. Moody came in and saved me.  After a few thank you’s, we all got in the bed.  I knocked off within 5 minutes only to be wakened with the explanation that I was snoring badly. (side effect for me of being really tired) I moved to the sofa and attempted to get back to sleep.  I got there.

I awoke later that morning desiring coffee and leftover donuts from National Donut Day.  I survived.  Your question now is, “Bill, what that got to do with history?” Answer: Very little unless you look from my point of view that I was happy that the night/morning was over.  But Seriously, we did see some serious history of Poland and I, for one, was extremely happy that I was able to see some of it yesterday.  “Hat tip” to my wonderful neice-in-law, Sarai.  On her Facebook Group, “Families with Children Adopted from Poland” She sent out suggested places to see while in Warsaw and we took her advice. One of her suggestions was a museum called Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego or “Warsaw Rising” and it was well worth it.

With most history that we learn in the States, it usually told from the USA perspective and why wouldn’t it be.  Makes sense to be told from that perspective.  However, yesterday was a real experience for me.  This museum details the rise of the Polish people when Warsaw was under siege by the Germans during WWII.  There was minimal help that came from the Allies and Russia refused to come to Poland’s aid.  From what I discovered today, Warsaw in 1939 had 1,400,000 people.  By 1944, it had only 900,000 people. In 1944 having had enough, the citizens in Warsaw decided liberation was reachable. For 63 days there was a battle for Warsaw to drive out the Germans.  A Resistance formed that armed themselves to fight in the street, the cellars and sewers of the city.  Humanity was not at its best.  Many defenseless people were killed during that occupation by the Germans.  Stalin called the “Rising” of the Varsovian people (Citizens of Warsaw) as criminal and didn’t want to help.  Western Allies did help, but minimally.  In short, it was the heart and soul of the Polish people that took their city back.  This is a history that has been lost or purposely forgotten.  Think long and hard about it, a huge city was razed during a dark part of the world’s overall history.  Some would say this is where Cold War started.  I don’t know about you but this was never told to me.  No text book, college course that I recall ever mentioned the events that I learned about yesterday.  It was sobering.  This kinda stuff gets lost unless we purposely try to remember it.  If you can imagine, I felt honored to be able to see this history.

Now most of you are saying, “Bill, this is some heavy stuff. What about Lil’ Miss?”  My point has just arrived… that was bad time in history.  New history is being written and it is good.  Victoria is that new history, at least for us, and it is a wonderful thing.  This beautiful girl has a history that started here, but now will be able to create new memories, a new chapter of history for her.  Its an exciting time for her and us.  New experiences, new home, new family, new “brats” (polish for brothers – seriously).  A new chapter in her personal history book.  I like being a part of great history.

Bill

P.S. yes we did do other fun things yesterday.  Little lady got her own cell phone … Fisher Price Brand.  Plays music, makes picture taking sound, etc.

Snow

Today we had a lazy day. Naps all around. It snowed off and on this afternoon. While I was napping, V and Bill bonded some more. She forgot to look for me. For a little while. 

Today is Fat Thursday. Otherwise known as Doughnut Day. Bill and V brought these beauties home this morning. 

  
I am not a big fan of filled doughnuts, even though that is traditional on Doughnut Day in Poland. Sweet Bill went to 3 different places to find non-filled doughnuts. Nope, still filled. 

  

I may be converted, because their filling tastes more like real jelly. I think V liked them. 

   
   
We ended our day like this. 

  
Oh my heart. 

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