Monday, February 25, 2008

Everything is OK

After sending out my emergency plea for help to my online friends and to my up-line Friend, Dima called me! So everything is taken care of with the driver (I could just envision myself stumbling out to his car at 4:30 am just to tell him neither he nor I needed to be up yet)

So many cool things happened today--I just know God heard the prayers of everyone. I am humbled and so majorly excited.

The first stop was at the American embassy to drop off paperwork. It's interesting because Dima walked me as far as the security shack and reached inside the door to place the paperwork on the desk but that was as far as he could go. Dima's very nice and pretty wife was with us (because Dima had to leave around noon to go to Odessa and she was going to help with paperwork if it became necessary) so I just left Caleb in the car. I made the beeper go off again--this time because I had a bunch of change in my pockets. At least this time I knew where I was going so it wasn't so frightening. I was seated in a chair in the waiting area of Room 14 at the end of the hall at 8:25 and at 8:30 was waited on. I was the only one sitting beside that particular window though the other window had some business. I handed the nice young man a bunch of paperwork, he looked through the stack, had me sign 2 or 3 more places, noticed that Kevin and I had already signed a couple spots, had a brief questionnaire about the adoption process, sent me down the hall to pay for the visa, accepted the receipt when I returned a few minutes later. I told him I had heard that sometimes they can issue the visa the same day and that my flight is tomorrow morning. He said that is not the normal procedure but they sometimes do it in case of emergency and they would do their best. That is all I can ask for.

I headed back up the hill to the waiting car and we scurried off to the building where the medical exams are conducted. There's a long hall with low seats on one side and door after door on the other side with various doctor's names written on each one. The area was crowded. Dima hurried to get a place in line. After several minutes it finally occurred to me that I was hearing English. Come to find out, quite a few people in there were Americans who were in the same adoption boat. Finally, it was our turn to enter one of the rooms. And when it's your turn, you'd best be trotting fast into that room. I think all we did in that office was height and weight. I sure hope they wrote these vital measurements down somewhere. For some reason, when I'm nerved up my mind really does not compute well. Then back to the seats. After some while it was our turn to pounce into another room. This lady doctor performed the actual physical exam, told me how children with Down Syndrome are very, very, very, very limited mentally but are very nice, that Down Syndrome is a family disease, etc., etc. I know she just felt like she was doing her duty and she wasn't being purposefully mean--I just think she was relying on outdated information. I tried to memorize her name so I could send her a picture when Caleb graduates from high school or something. (But in my emotional state I wasn't able to retain it) Dima had warned me earlier that if the dr. requested blood work that would delay things several hours so we both did kind of a quiet thumbs-up when she said she didn't feel it necessary to repeat HIV, syph, etc since they'd already tested negative nor do a chest xray since he had no history of TB nor have a psych eval because the diagnosis of Down syndrome was already known. She seemed to feel better when I told her I already had a son with autism that was talking, reading, etc. Back to the magic seats to wait for a sealed packet of information. I wished the doc could have seen Caleb even out there playing with the finger puppets, mimicking the game I was playing, laughing and being silly, etc. because in front of the dr. he was absolutely dead silent.

Had lunch at our apartment and was then picked up by our main driver (his name is something like Svla, by the way) for our embassy appointment. This time both Caleb and I entered the sacred precincts. I took my notorious 50 pound notebook being absolutely positve that I had finally come to the spot in our adoption journey when someone would give a rip what was in it. I was mistaken--they didn't ask for tax forms, or pay stubs or deed to the house or any proof of residency or divorce decrees or birth certificates--not even for my original I171H. Nada. Unbelievable. I just handed them the sealed envelope I'd received after the medical exam. I visited quite a bit with a very nice couple from Minnesota with their adopted daughter while we both waited for visas. They even have another waiting area there at embassy with lots of toys and books and a table/chair set, etc. I was so excited when they were called to the window and given their daughter's visa that I almost cried. And ours couldn't have been more than 10 minutes behind. SO at about 4 pm our adoption process was complete. What an absolute WOW!

As we were driving across town I was actually feeling quite nostalgic--seeing buildings I now recognized, several of which I could call by name, for the last time.

As soon as I got in the apt I emailed Kevin that we were good to go so he could get our airline tickets finalized and then headed out on a little excursion to exchange grievna into dollars. Got back in and Kevin had already made the new arrangements (adding Caleb to my flight was actually more expensive than booking us both on a new flight) and I am all but sure it's the same flight my new friends are on. I know it's the same airline, and that the first 2 stops are the same!

Lin, if you are reading this, I tried and tried to call you tonight. I feel so, so, so bad that you lugged that stroller half way across the planet for nothing. There must definitely be somebody who needs it worse than I. I hope you had a good flight, that you are getting a well-earned rest right now, and that you have a smooth, successful adoption process. May God reward your beyond-the-call-of-duty efforts on my behalf and give you the desires of your heart.

9 comments:

Kevin said...

Honey I dont know wether you will read this or not before you leave to go to the airport but here Goes
HAPPY ANNIVERSERY FROM YOUR MAN WHO CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU !!!!!!!!!

LOVE KEVIN

AZmomto7 said...

prayers for a safe trip home, by the time you read this, you will be in America, so welcome home!!

Kris

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear you landed, just put one line in letting us know you got home.
Some pics later would be super fantastic!!
Amy O.

Charissa said...

Are you home yet?

Anonymous said...

are you here??
are you here??

Anonymous said...

the suspense is unbearable...are you home??

THE CAMPBELL FAMILY said...

HELLO: JOY DID YOU MAKE IT HOME. I HAVE A QUESTION, HOW LONG DIID IT TAKE FOR IDAHO TO PROCESS YOU I 600A, TO GET FINGER PRINTS. I HAVE HEARD THAT THEY ARE DOING MONTANAS NOW.BECAUSE THE PERSON DOING OURS RETIRED. THEY HAVE NOT REPLACED HIM. NEED SOME HELP. THANK YOU, HOPE ALL IS WELL. THE CAMPBELL'S GARY & JODY

Dolores said...

Looking forward to pictures of that little cutie-bug with his family when you get home! Thanks for the great description of the process, very helpful to others.
Kevin's comment above is priceless, he sounds like my husband. You'll be welcomed home!
Dolores.

Kathy & Matt said...

Joy,
It was such a pleasure to meet you and Caleb and then to see you again on the flight home. I hope you both made it all the way home without any problems. I can't imagine how tired you must have been, as we were exhausted and our travel ended in Minneapolis.

We wish you all the best as your family welcomes Caleb!