Today is most importantly our anniversary for Daniel's adoption. We spent four hours in a courtroom asking to be Daniel's parents. While the length of the court process seems really long, it was relatively painless and every one was so nice to us. We had an unusual situation in that Daniel had been placed in a hospital to await our return due to a chicken pox outbreak so we had to wait for arrival of a doctor from that hospital to sign over guardianship.
All in all we were exhausted when it was over a bit disappointed that we couldn't pick him up the same day, (because it was so late), but we celebrated with peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and barely slept, awaiting the arrival of the next morning!!
Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to my closest family and friends TWO years ago today!! I am sharing the email and not the post from my blog as this was much more detailed of the events and also because I wanted every one to see how kind the judge was to us. Read on...
"We are proud to announce that after 4 hours of speeches (by us, the social worker, orphanage director, children's hospital doctor) and being questioned by the judge and prosecutor that we are the parents of a very active, 21 and a half month old little boy named Daniel McQuin Williams!!
Today has been very emotional and we are exhausted. We tried not to cry when the judge finally announced her decision that we had satisfied the Russian courts and we were to be Daniel's parents. She also approved our motion to waive the 10 days as I (Rachel) gave a speech and then the social worker and the orphanage director supported my motion. This means we can return to the US on the 22nd as planned.
After the judge read her decision she came down to stand before us and said she wanted to talk to us not as a judge but as a mother and grandmother. She said to love Daniel well and let him be the light of our lives. She said he would certainly bring us much joy. She said she hoped when we were older he would return the favor and care for us as we care for him. Then she congratulated us and it was done.
We were then rushed to the vital statistics office and we have a new birth certificate listing us as his parents and a formal adoption certificate. Unfortunately we are not able to pick up Daniel today as it is after 5 pm. Troy and I will be celebrating with peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches as we ate out a big lunch during a break with everyone and we are just plain exhausted.We will pick Daniel up tomorrow in Votkinsk and then come back to Izhevsk to fly to Moscow. Wish us luck on the almost 2 hour flight. Love to all..."
I can't even begin to explain what that day meant to us and still means to us. That we were entrusted with this precious child to call our own. Did we think it would be easy? No. Were we prepared to work at it? Yes.
A lot of people didn't know at the time (except our family) that Daniel had a medical condition that had already required two previous surgeries in Russia. He was not considered special needs but we knew most likely he would have to have another surgery upon arrival in the US.
I want to point out in light of the news lately that the orphanage director was extremely honest with us about Daniel's medical condition. We received a ton of information and they answered all the questions we had.
Daniel's condition which you can read about in a previous post here may have given a few families pause about his adoption, but we truly believe Daniel was a gift from God, sent straight to our family.
Finally, Daniel is everything we ever wanted in a son and more. We are so thankful to be able to call him ours.