So after a fitful night of sleep, I woke up at 8:15. There were 4 girls using one small bathroom but we all got showers and were headed to breakfast by 9 am. We ate quickly knowing Daina was picking us up @ 9:30. We loaded up again and drive back to Riga.
The building for court was really a simple building with many court rooms. Apparently when Daina sends the paperwork to the court I it goes into the computer system and each case is randomly given a judge (like a lottery) by region. Not everyone goes to the same court that I went to. Another piece of important info. - most latviana take a 6 week vacation but judges take 8 weeks. If your paperwork arrives when the judge is a vacation, no court date is set until the judge returns.
I was nervous, I will not lie. Daina prepared me and her and I talked alot about Leigah and how well she is doing, attaching and learning. I had shown a video Leigah recorded for Daina to show her how much better she was speaking english. So all the typical stuff happened - showing of passport, acknowledging medical diagnosis, there were a lot of formalities with the prosecutor, orphan court representative, Daina and Dace, the translator. The judge asked if I wanted to speak or allow Daina to speak on my behalf. Ummmm...Daina can do it! She related what I had told her over our conversations and things I had told her over the last 4 months in emails. Then Inguna, orphan court rep. Spoke about our time here in Feb-Mar. Then I was asked how are relations with the family particularly me & Micah. I told then how close Leigah & Micah are, how she takes care of Leigah but also cares for her, how Ethan & her joke that they are the twins, how Joe & Leigah have bonded quickly because she has never had a daddy around and how she is an amazing little girl that FITS perfectly!! I also told how the school was excited to work with her and how we have contacted other resources for her. It was encouraging to see the judge smile. After approval from Daina, Inguna and prosecutor, the judge stepped to make her decision. Within five minutes she came back in and read the short version: grant us approval for adoption, change her name to Leigah Allana Friend and write us as her parents on her birth certificate. Then she left quickly. Daina smiled and said congratulations, it's a girl!!! That was it! From start to finish it lasted all of 45 mins.
Our group went to Lido to celebrate. Yummy!! Then I was dropped off so Daina could go work with a family for their 3rd trip. I took a small nap and then headed to the Galleria Riga for dinner. Walked all 5 floors at all the stores. I picked up some bottled tea and came back "home". The rest of the evening has been slightly boring, I can only understand one channel. Headed to bed very soon. Gnite!!