So our court appointment was at 10 am. Our driver picked us up at 845am to head there. We met Olga, our coordinator, and the other couple going to court as well. Olga prepped us, briefly, on what to expect. She said this was a new judge that only another family with AAC had gone before us. Gulp...that made us nervous! Then it was time for court. The other couple went before us. Olga said it should only last 20-30 minutes....over an hour later they finally come out of the court room, with smiles of course! This judge is really thorough with paperwork and they got going a little late. Whew. We were getting really nervous thinking something had happened unexpectedly!
So then it was our turn. We walked in and sat down with Olga. There was the prosecutor, the court reporter, the baby home doctor/director, and the social worker. We were told to look at the judge while listening to Olga translate. Um easier said than done! Imagine looking at someone speaking Russian, while listening to someone, with a thick Russian accent, speaking English. So hard!! The judge came in and went over a few things, then it was time for Caleb to go to the podium to answer questions, then my turn. Then the doctor/director spoke about how we would be a good fit for a family for James, as did the social worker. Then the judge went through our entire dossier and court picture album, as did the prosecutor. She asked if we had any other words to say, so Caleb made his 'closing statement' :) The prosecutor had no objections, so then the Judge went to her chambers and about 5 minutes later came back out and made a long speech that essentially meant Da! Yes! We are indeed the parents of James Matthew Crocker!! Big sigh if relief. The judge kept a few pics from our album, then we got the rest back. I should also note something funny. Olga had said that if the judge asked if we wanted to say anything, then we should. So before the proceedings began she asked if anyone wanted to say anything, Olga translated that and quickly said 'no' at the end, but Caleb said yes. LOL So he thanked the Judge for allowing us to be here. The judge smiled and said something in Russian that wasn't translated to us, but everyone else similed and giggled ;) It was funny.
After we left the court house we went straight to the baby home and got to see James. Not only that, but we got to break him out for about 20-30 minutes to go get his passport/visa picture taken!! I loved it!! He did great. Can't wait to see that pic in his passport! We had to take the babies back to take a nap, so we went to the hotel to rest and eat lunch. We went back from 4-6 to visit again. This time we were back in the room we were in on trip 1. It was nice to get down on the floor and play with him. He loves peek-a-boo and got the cutest video of him playing it with daddy. We had a GREAT visit. It was so hard to leave. His caregiver came to get him and he showed us that he has definitely attached to this particular caregiver. Such a good sign!!!! We were thrilled to see how he wanted her and was genuinely excited to see her. She took him and we followed a few minutes later. We got downstairs and she was there still holding him, so we stole a few more kisses. They asked what we named him and laughed and said 'James Bond' :) So cute. James is really in a great orphanage. These caregivers really care for the babies well and love them! Then we left :( Last time we'll have to leave him!! Next time we see him, he's coming with us!!
We head back to the hotel. The lounge had nothing appealing and it was a big puff of cigarette smoke, so we went back to the room and ordered room service. We packed and went to bed.
So day 4 started at 130am, we left the hotel at 230, and wheels up in Moscow at 530. 4 hour layover in Amsterdam and wheels down after 1pm at DFW. Customs was ridiculous. It took us over an hour to get through, but we finally made it home. It was so good to see Hannah! We hate leaving her, but she'll understand one day, and besides being taken care of by two grandmas is the best ;)
Here are pics of the outside of the court house and of course the pic of us after court!!