Friday, July 19, 2013
Tuesday, July 16th was "Gotcha Day" for our sweet L@tiv@n girl! Our wonderful friends, who are here from Memphis and adopting a 15 year old boy, watched our children while we headed to "Hope's" orphanage. Our attorney and her husband picked us up outside our apartment and it was a short ride into a very poor part of Riga to the orphanage Hope was staying at ... it is not the orphanage the Hope had grown up in - that was over 4 hours away but, they transferred her to this facility to make the process easier. Everyone was so super nice - we were taken to the director's office and our translator was present to help us but, we were blessed that everyone spoke English well.
We were able to get lots of insight into Hope's past - along with her siblings past and parents. I will not go into detail on my blog about this aspect to protect our daughter's privacy but, it was very enlightening and even though hard to hear I was glad to get to know more about her past.
After the meeting wrapped up they sent for Hope and she ran into the room into our arms ... we all cried and she would not let go as she hugged and hugged us. I gave her a gift - a new Pandora charm bracelet with one charm. We were able to catch up a little before it was time for us all to head out.
We had a few minutes before court so we stopped into a cafe with our attorney and translator for Coke and some ice cream for Hope. Then it was off to court ... I was nervous but, it was a very easy process. Just a few questions like "why do you want to adopt this child" and they asked Hope a few questions too. So sweet to hear the orphanage director speak and talk about how good this was for Hope to be getting adopted. The court asked us to step out into the hallway and then a few minutes later we were asked back in and they told us they were granting us temporary custody of Hope and they would see us at our 2nd court visit on August 6th.
So, now we settle into life here ...we have some outings planned to places like the zoo and beach. We will need to be able to tell the court what all we have done together at our next court hearing.
We have been so blessed with lots of America families here with us right now also adopting. One family, who has been here already for almost 4 weeks, has been super helpful in getting us acclimated to things. Helping us set up our cell phone with a new SIM card and making sure we knew what was good to buy at the grocery store. Another family we know well has arrived this week from Georgia too! We have kids similar ages and their apartment is just 5 minutes away. :) Last night we were able to meet up with several other families here from the states in various stages of the adoption process. These moments are blessings from God ... we could be here all alone having to figure things out with no clue at all but, instead God blessed us with friends!!
Stay tuned as I update more about our adventures here ...