Today was the big day. I didn't think I was nervous but I didn't sleep at all last night. I think it has to do with the cold I have and the tea plus medicine I took last night that made me not sleep. We arrived at the court house at 8:30 and found the room. We had no lawyer and the jurist from child protection wasn't even there (he did show up later though). There were quite a few adoption cases but we had to listen to custody cases first. There were about 12 or more custody cases where children were being removed from a home and only two parnets showed up, the rest didn't even show up to contest it. Then we watched as one young mother signed over the rights of her 8 year old child to be adopted. She probably has never had custody of him before but it was still hard for her to sign him over to be adopted by someone else. Then the judge cleared the room of everyone but adoption cases. We were number 13 on the list and she called the first 9 and none of them even were there! I was so amazed that people didn't show up for their adoption court date. When she got to case number 9 the official from child protection finally showed up. We did not pay to obtain a lawyer because it was an open and shut case and we felt we would just be wasting money. We were called up and our case was unusual in that we were the ones declaring them adoptable and adopting them (this is something that the child protection in the county the twins came from told us we were not allowed to do but they were wrong). She asked us why we were changing their names and we told her and she was pleased with our answer and even gave a pleasant smile. Not many people walk around in Romania with smiles on their faces. I try to smile and say hello to people but I get little response so I was happy to see a smile on the judges face. Then we signed a paper and that was it!
We should receive the official paper declaring them ours within 30 days. Then there is a 15 day waiting period when someone from the family can come attest it if they want to. After those 15 days, we go to the courthouse in Timisoara again and get a stamp on the paper that says irrivocable then go to the city hall in Lugoj and request new birth certificates. This could be done before Christmas if we get our paper before 30 days is up.
Our next big hurdle is figuring out the American side of things. We heard from someone today that to acquire a visa for them to enter America it will cost $400 a piece!! We have to go to Bucharest the first of January so we will make an appointment at the embassy and ask all our questions then.
On a lighter note, the court secretary I guess you would call her, she is the one who types all the papers out, well, she can't type. She just pecks it all out with her fingers and really takes quite a while. It would save the court on time if they would provide a typing class for all their court secretaries.
On another lighter night, we were behind a drivers ed car today and it said on the back: "I make abrupt and unnecessary stops." I thought that was funny.
Time for the pizza party and cookies now!