So yesterday we had our day in court. That sounds so serious and formal... well, it kinda is. The setting of the room is rather informal really. It's a large table with 3 ladies, a small table connected at the end for the secretary and 6 chairs in front. Daina, Joe, the interpeter & I sat on one side of the door and Leigah & Inguna sat on the other side. After all the formalities of our names & DOB, our representative, Daina and all the important other people, we were asked if we were still in agreement of adoption. That one was the toughest question of the day but the easiest to answer ~ ABSOLUTELY!!!! They asked several other questions but kept looking to me (Brenna) and so I answered all the questions, when the lead lady said that Joe was quiet and that I had answered enough - What did Joe think? He did an awesome job! They all got a kick out of my "talks-a-lot" personality, when I didn't understand a question and yet tried to answer it. They also enjoyed Leigah. She was quite a character... after everything Daina, Joe or I said she answered "Ya" in agreement. Which put smiles on the faces of the ladies there. She showed them her knitting and impressed them with her beautiful handiwork. One of the things she loudly agreed to was when I said that her english was improving remarkably, she could understand basic commands and common phrases; she may not be able to verbalize but she does understand & Leigah said "YES!!!!" Too funny! One of the ladies asked Leigah if she wanted us to adopt her and her reply was simply, "VERY MUCH!!!" They smiled and then asked us to step outside while they talked.
While waiting Leigah spoke with Daina and our interpreter about a common Latvian folktale. She retold the story for them but in the end they said they were not familiar with that version, so they asked her if she was sure about it and she said, No, I was telling you another story. They all laughed and laughed - we finally were given the translation of the interaction and when we laughed Leigah lit up because she knew she was being talked about.
They ushered us back into to the room and pronounced their approval for our 2 applications submitted to the Orphan Court. 1) To be approved to be the adoptive parents to Liga Lukasova and that it was in the best interest of the child 2) To be approved to take Leigah to the states to continue our "bonding time (orphan care time)" because it too was in the best interest of the child. The court approval also states that we can seek medical attention for any of her needs, which is important because we don't have a medical VISA. The asked Leigah what she says when she gets good news: She said "forshay - Cool!!" We thanked the court and left the courtroom!
We celebrated with lunch at Lido (#4) and she enjoyed some of her favorite foods. We came home and enjoyed the rest of the evening together.
Today Leigah was excied because she was going to see Majia, her foster mom and all her foster brothers. We were to meet Majia and the boys at 11:30 at the theater. Their family was given tickets to a pre-show of a Repretorie Theater show that opens tomorrow night. Daina said it was a chance for us to have a few hours without any kids and to enjoy a date! We dropped Leigah off and walked for nearly an hour. We finally stopped and ate at TGI Fridays. We enjoyed our meal and the conversation with our sweet waitress, who is from Riga but speaks incredible English. She is a teacher 2 days a week and will be leaving for Belgium in June to teach and be closer to her boyfriend. She asked about our story and why we were in Riga - we told her the shortest version possible. When we were leaving she said thank you for caring for our Latvian children and we were hero parents. I wanted to grab her and hug her but felt that I shouldn't do that when she was working. We walked around until we came to a pastry shop and we shared a fruit and cheese curd torte. It was super yummy. We bought enough cinnamon twist pretzels (they're crunchy not soft like an Auntie Anne's Pretzel) for each of the children & Majia and headed back to the theater to pick Leigah up. The children enjoyed the show and Leigah was dancing as she came out. We gave the bag of treats to Majia, took some pictures and headed outside to leave. Majia asked if they could come to the airport to say good-bye to Leigah and we were so excited that they love her so much to want to come. We gave them the times and we all headed our own separate ways.
Tonight was the first time since Sunday that we were able to Skype with the kids and it is just so awesome to see their faces. Everyday I kiss my hand and touch their pictures on our family quilt that hangs on the column in the livin room. I just miss them so badly. We had a great time talking and got off with only a few tears (I made her laugh in the end).
Tomorrow we meet with Daina at 1:45 pm to go to our VISA interview. We will do all the necessary paperwork and answer all the questions needed to get her VISA. On Friday we will pick up the VISA and that will be the last thing we need before leaving on Saturday morning. We are very thankful that our flight on Saturday isn't until 2:45 because it means we won't have to check-out really early - in fact, we're not checking out until 11:30! Anyway, I'll try to post before we leave Latvia but until then...