We were called together on Sunday evening to be told that we have a court slot at 10am on Monday morning, that the necessary documents had not arrived from Astana but that we should be ready for court anyway as there was a chance that we could still make it. Otherwise the court had a full schedule for two weeks!!!!
So the following morning our translator came to the room at 9.15am to tell us that court was off with no idea when it would be on again. Driving to the baby-house that day was a solemn affair and the maroon `minibus became nicknamed “Bus of Doom”. It was Adrienne and Declan’s little boy Alex’s first birthday so we all felt bad and rushed off at lunchtime for them to buy him a cake and we all went in and sang Happy Birthday to him. The day ended well when we were told that we had court the following day, Tuesday at 11.30am.
They squeezed us into a packed court schedule at 11.30am, one after the other and just as Adrienne and Declan were called in, the lawyer acting for us came out and said that my updated medical and employers letter which were sent over just before travelling weren’t in my file and that I couldn’t go ahead without them. A desperate 20 minutes went by and suddenly there was a flurry of activity and the lawyer rushed out, pointed at me and said “bistra, bistra” which means FAST! In other words I was to go in immediately, so confused, we all ran into the judges office – “we all” was me and our translator Alfiya, the judge, the prosecutor, the court secretary, the representative from the Ministry of Education and the director of the baby-house – in a room about 10ft by 7ft. The MOE lady spoke confirming that the child was legally available for adoption and that they had checked my dossier and that I had complied with Kazakh law and had provided all necessary paperwork from my own country and that I was financially able to support a child and various other legalities. The Director of the baby-house stood up and said that since I had been visiting the baby, Damir, that he was already benefiting from the one-to-one attention he was getting from me and his muscles were already stronger and that she felt it would be in his best interests to be adopted.
I read my speech, about taking good care of Damir and providing him with a loving family with only a slight wobble of the lip (no time for tears) , then the prosecutor (who acts on behalf of the child) asked me questions mostly about how I was going to manage a child when I went back to work and how long I was taking off work to be with him and who was going to help me look after him. All of which I thought were very fair and was expecting questions of that sort being a single mother. I supplied dated photos of Damir and I for each of the bonding days and one of my family which everyone checked then I made a formal petition to the court to adopt Damir and we retired to the outer office for the judge to consider his verdict We were called back in later for his verdict and it was all over, sort of… I now have 15 days to appeal the decision! All the officials took their part in this event very seriously and in a way (although it was daunting) it seemed appropriately solemn given that it’s such a life changing event for Daniel Damir and I.
I was extremely confused at the time about what went on with the paperwork but was told the following day that the Ministry of Education did have the missing documents but they hadn’t been put into the file so the Judge agreed to go ahead on the basis that the representative from the MOE undertook to file them correctly before the appeal period expired.
The good thing was that it was all such a rush at the end that I didn’t have time to get too emotional.
We then all went off to lunch with Alfiya and driver Alexei and we did not go to the babyhouse that day, so I’m mooching around feeling very weird and very emotional. How odd to become a mother without seeing your child. On the upside, I did get a good nights sleep for the first time in a while and was refreshed and able to say hello to my son for the first time the next day in a great mood.
Lets hope that there’s no nasty surprises during the appeal period. All fingers and toes crossed
Hello, my name is Daniel Damir Jones. I live in the baby-house in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan and for the past few weeks a rather strange but quite nice lady has been coming to see me everyday. She is a bit slow as she cannot understand anything I say to her, though she has learnt to understand “FOOD NOW!” recently so she is showing some promise. She also brings biscuits which are fab and plastic rings which roll for ever such a long way when you throw them on the floor. And then she goes to pick them up so I can do it again.
She didn’t come today which is very odd and I missed my biscuits. I heard from the kid in the crib in the corner that she is going to ask an important man if she can be my Mama, I’m not sure why she has to ask him because the Aunties who take care of me call her Mama already. Aida has a Mama too, it must be a very common name where my Mama comes from. I hope she isnt going to cry again tomorrow, she did that a bit at first (though so did I) but she seems to have pulled herself together recently, I have a reputation to think of in the sick bay.
I am very tiny, you wouldn’t think I was nearly one, but you have to remember that I was only part-baked when I first arrived and had to cook a while longer in the hospital so my Mama says, she has been buying me 6-9 months clothes and they seem to fit quite well. They are an improvement on the pink outfits the Aunties put me in quite a lot but my Mama still takes photos of me anyway, she says I will be a teenager one day and she will need the photos of me in a pink velour babygrow to keep me in line.
I’m not sure what happens next – word on the street is that it will be another two weeks before she will be called Mama forever and then no-one will be able to say she is not – not ever. Not like the Aunties who sometimes go away after a little while. After that, we go away somewhere together and I think she will feed me biscuits all the time.