So off we drove across the city to the Svyatoshin district to the orphanage to pick up a representative from the orphanage (I don't know her title but she is not the deputy director or the doctor or a caregiver) So we waited quite awhile in the car, then Alexey went in, then Alexey and Nastya went in and asked us to please stay there and not leave the car (remember the time we left the car unattended to go find something to eat? That must have been a no-no) Well, after awhile here came Alexey, saying I needed to come in and sign a paper. I said "OK" and he said "No, it's not OK" Poor guy, he is so disgusted with this situation. So up we traipsed to the director's office (I tore the sleeve of my shirt on a tiny nail sticking out in the entry doorway) where Nastya was writing out a legal paper, getting advice from the other ladies present including the DD and the lady we were supposed to pick up on the appropriate wording for the document. They got it to their satisfaction and I signed it--as I recall it was a request for Steven's registration to be changed.
The 5 of us got into the car and headed to an office building where we squeezed through the narrow, crowded hallway until we got to such and such a room. Of course, I have no clue what was said but the person in there actually, physically pushed and shooed us out of there and shut the door behind me. So we all stood in the hallway, (I'm sure providing a welcome diversion to all the other people standing in the passport line and by other doorways awaiting their turns) while Nastya made some phone calls. Then Teresa and I were told to stay there while Nastya and Alexey went off in search of another door, I guess. It's so weird being surrounded by people with whom you cannot communicate, feeling like they are going to eat you. Finally A and N motioned to us and we squeezed back down that hall with people lining both sides and into another office and then another office and finally back to the first office. I did get to show my passport. I heard Nastya talking about 'momma' and 'papa' but was otherwise pretty clueless about what was going on. When Nastya had an appropriate time to explain she said each office was just basically saying that we needed to go to some other office first before coming to their office. The final word was that we cannot unregister Steven from the orphanage until he has a passport with our US address, proving he has a home to go to. AND that the passport needs to be done through that particular office (Nastya remarked later that Steven could be an adult before THAT office got the passport done --smile--so it's not the one they use) Anyway, that takes us back to the elusive tax number (which still has not come through) that we must have before we can get Steven or the passport both of which we must have prior to getting an exit visa, of course. So there was nothing else to do but drop the orphanage representative off back at the orphanage. Teresa and I asked to be dropped off at McDonald's at the train station (which is gorgeous by the way) from which we proceeded by Metro to the botanical gardens for a nice shady walk on this extremely hot day. (I got my other arm mildly pinched in the metro door when it opened--I guess that's why they say to step away from the door but it was so crowded in there)
Apparently in most cases the orphanages just take care of this whole registration issue themselves when a child is adopted. That is why it is so irritating to our facilitators, I think, to be spending all this time on something that is so needless.
So it is certain we will not be able to fly home on Thursday as hoped. We will be moving to another apartment at some point since this one will only be available one more day after we'd originally scheduled it. And tomorrow sometime I need to be able to tell Eldon from Golden Rule WHEN we can fly--please pray that we'll know by then.
Thanks everyone for your prayers. God has not answered them the way I hoped he would but He is sovereign and He is walking through the tough times with us. I do know you are praying because I am feeling like I am being upheld.
Please keep praying for us and our family at home.