Today–July 28, 2009–Bella became a Burckhard and is now part of a family–OURS! Praise God! The court hearing went very well. The people in the court room included the judge, her assistant, the prosecutor, his assistant, the Orphanage Director, the Inspector, our translator Natasha, our 15 year daughter Elizabeth, and Kevin & me. The Judge asked us to tell “our story” why we want to adopt a child with Down syndrome and why from Ukraine? Kevin did an awesome job giving answers to both questions. Meanwhile, everyone enjoyed looking at our photo album of pictures of our family and home.
After both the Inspector and the Orphanage Director gave their positive recommendations, the only question the prosecuting attorney asked wasn’t anything to do with us as parents, but that whether Down syndrome was something that was temporary or whether it is a long-term condition. 🙂
After a 15 minute recess, the Judge returned, we all stood, and she read her statement basically saying that the court finds that it would be in the best interest of the child to be adopted by Kevin Karl Burckhard and Paula Ann Burckhard! Woo Hoo! We clapped & hugged….very emotional! Everyone filed out of the court room and either hugged us or shook our hand congratulating us.
Later, Anatoly told us that the Judge felt we were a very good family and was very happy for the “girl”.
We rushed on over to the US Embassy to fill out the proper paperwork to give me the power of attorney to act on Kevin’s behalf when he returns to North Dakota on Thursday. From there, we ate a celebratory lunch at Reprisa–all of had blini’s and dessert. Yummy!
After traveling for two long days, going through the emotional rollercoaster of the court, doing more paperwork, and having lunch,we finally got to go and visit Bella. She look very puzzled when she first saw us, but right away said “Mama, Mama!” I guess they weren’t quite ready for us when we came in, because as soon as they saw us, they whisked Bella off to the side to put in a HUGE white bow in her hair. She cried and cried when she wasn’t able to run to us right away. However, when her hair was done, she ran over to me and gave me a hug.
Sad to say, but she was still “byoos” of Kevin. Sad Daddy!
We couldn’t have asked for this day to go any better! (Well, Kevin would have like Bella to go to him, but….) Thank you so much, dear friends, for your love and support! We can’t wait to introduce to you, in person, BELLA BOGDANA BURCKHARD!