Thursday, July 14, 2011

Court Day

We got up early  and Sabina's friend, Zarina came to spend the last day with her.  The girls went into the village to do some last minute shopping while I tried to return the apartment to its original condition.  They returned with a purse for Sabina and a beautiful tea set for me.  I had admired them earlier but decided not to buy one.  Besides, I couldn't decide which one to get!  She picked out a beautiful one with native flowers from Latvia.

Gertruda arrived soon after the girls returned from their shopping spree.  Sabina did not want to wear the one dress she owns.  Her foster sister had been to court a month earlier for her final adoption hearing and Gertruda said she wore jeans.  We did not go that far, but I did let her wear a more casual outfit with capris.

Soon, Daina, the Latvian attorney arrived.  She sat and talked with us a while and put my mind to ease a little more about the hearing.  She said that hearings in the capital city of Riga are a little more formal and less friendly.  I am glad we are in a small town for our hearing!

Finally it was time to leave.  Daina's son travels with her and does the driving and such.  He came up to help us drag all of the luggage down the stairs.  It had been very cool up until the day of the hearing and it was around 90 degrees.  The suit I had brought was a little warm for the day, but I wore it and suffered.

In there court room there was Sabina and me, Daina, the orphan court director, the judge, and the states attorney, referred to as the prosecutor, along with an interpreter for me.  The proceedings were in Latvian.  I was asked if I wanted to make comments several times.  It was not scary at all.  It lasted longer than most, or so I am told.  The orphan court director talked for ever and was SLOW.  Can't complain though. She was 100% in favor of the adoption.   I was asked to share photos of us in America.  I had made a special scrapbook for that event and was able to explain each photo and what the activity was.  I included little comments about things she likes and dislikes, etc.  Eventually the judge left the room for a short while and when she returned said yes.  Sabina and I had to say yes also.  There is a 20 day appeal time and then processing time.  The official date will be July 28, but she is my daughter!!

Mama Gertruda was waiting for us when we finished the hearing.  Here she is with the orphan court director.
Unfortunately this is not the best photo of either of us, but it is our official after court photo as mother and daughter!

Sabina and her two mamas!  Gertruda will always be important in both of our lives.

Sabina, Zarina and Ancion (that is the way it sounds, not the way it is spelled in Russian or Latvian!)  

I took the foster family and Diana and her son out for lunch after the court hearing.  There were a total of eight of us.  It was a cafeteria type restaurant, but Sabina's godmother, Natalijia acted as our waitress so we did not have to go through the line.  It was another wonderful Latvian meal.  
This is the attorney, Daina and her son.  That is Natalijia in the background delivering food to us!

Because it was Friday afternoon and traffic would be heavy, we drove through the country to get back to Riga.  I have no idea where these photos are made, just somewhere in the countryside between Russia and the Baltic Sea!  It was a beautiful drive.

These are canola fields.  It is almost harvest time so they are starting to turn yellow.

Latvian service stations do not look much different than ours in America!

I love that they still use hay stacks!

It just looked pretty.  I don't know what it is!

 Now we are in Riga
We arrived at our hotel in Riga around 8:00 p.m.  I had made reservations through thinking I could count on it being a safe, reasonably nice place.  I have now learned that I should ask more questions.  Daina said the neighborhood was ok but I did not feel especially good about that.  There was no elevator and we were on the third floor until I begged.  We got moved to the second floor.  We had tons of luggage.    There was no air conditioning and the temp had shot up to about 90 with sunset coming around 11:30 p.m.  We had one very small fan on the nightstand in the room.  The airport shuttle was not complementary and the free breakfast was not free.  Other than that we did fine!

That ended court day.  I am a happy mama!  I have my daughter and she even admitted that she had been stressed and therefore trying to control me, but she feels much more relaxed now that court is over.  Just another everyday miracle from God!  Maybe not, me being a mom is a really big miracle!!!  Thank you precious Jesus!                                            

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