Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Klaudia Eve Andrews

Her proud parents present to you...
Klaudia Eve Andrews!!!




As of August 11, 2009, according to the court in Gliwice, Poland, Klaudia is our daughter!! Needless to say, this family of three is ecstatic!

The day was quite a journey...only fitting, considering the journey the entire process has been. We woke up at 6 a.m. (Klaudia wakes up soon after the sun, no matter when she goes to bed), and were picked up at 9 a.m. Rain storms and insane toll booth lines lead to us being about an hour behind schedule. This meant we were not able to stop by the orphanage on the way to our 11:45 a.m. court hearing in Gliwice. We were supposed to stop by and pick up Klaudia’s medical information, and leave her there during the hearing because children are not permitted in court. Let’s just say, we were not disappointed that we were not able to leave her at the orphanage during the hearing. I can’t imagine what she would think about us leaving her there. Maybe she would have been fine, but it was still the last thing we wanted to do.

Instead, our driver, Tom, was going to watch her in the court hallways. However, when they called our hearing, our lawyer asked if Klaudia could come in, and the 3 judge panel agreed. Apparently this is pretty rare. I’m glad that Klaudia reciprocated with being very quiet and attentive. She fussed at little at some points, but hey, the rest of us would too, if we could.

The court hearing took about an hour. We understand this is on the relatively short side. The panel was three judges, all women. I was glad to see that at first, but despite that, I do not think we received one smile! I think they want to make sure the seriousness of the hearing is not compromised by emotion. The lead judge went through our whole file. They looked up our passport numbers in some database, read through all of the documents in the file, stated the evidence for the record, asked us questions individually, and asked the orphanage director (who has been listed as Klaudia’s guardian) a series of questions. It was serious enough, that it made me wonder if there was a chance they would find that it was not in Klaudia’s best interest to be placed with us. There was no fact that made me think that, just the reality of going through every detail of our application, our reasons for adopting, our reasons for adopting from Poland, etc. added a seriousness that I had not expected. Perhaps it was just making a good record.

The director of the orphanage was wonderful. She is thrilled to place children in homes, and despite the great care they give at the orphanage, she admits that the children thrive immediately on being placed in homes. Although there have been times that I felt mean for taking Klaudia from the place and people that she knows, the directors confidence in her placement in our home and all children placed in good homes, has helped us get through some of the more difficult moments. Her testimony at court was great. She explained Klaudia’s history at the orphanage, knowledge of her biological parents, and her thoughts on Klaudia’s placement with us. She and I do not speak the same language, but we exchanged several words and smiles that, at a minimum, said thank you. It was touching when she said goodbye to Klaudia and gave a blessing with the sign of the cross on her head. I do not speak Polish, but I understood every word she said then.

Also at court, there was a prosecutor present. She is in the position of scrutinizing adoption petitions to ensure the placements are in the best interests of the child. She asked us both one question related to the care of Klaudia when we return to work. We answered to her satisfaction, and she did not have anything further.

Following the hearing, we waited for the court to issue the decree/order. After about 20 minutes, they called us back in and read it to us for accuracy. It was all good in our book, so they said it would be issued that day, and considered final after 21 days. Then our lawyer stood up and talked, and the prosecutor responded. Magda turned to us and said, the prosecutor is fine with shortening the waiting period from 21 to 14 days! Apparently this is VERY rare in Silesia, but she agreed to it because our US Embassy expiration date is approaching in 2 weeks. We were amazed and grateful! This means we should be able to return home on September 5 instead of September 12, giving us one more week to settle in at home. 

Following the court hearing, we lugged all of our luggage to the train station and took a 3.5 hour train to Warsaw. The train was fine, and Klaudia (although getting tired, but not tired enough to nap) was a trooper. In the pouring rain, we got to our Warsaw apartment and are thrilled with it. It has a washing machine, bathtub, deck you can stand on without getting accosted by pigeons, a couch that you can get up from, internet access from one spot in the kitchen window, and a bed that creaks, but not every time you breath. Sigh . . . we can stay here for a few weeks just fine!! We had our first day of exploring today, and there is a lot to see here. It will be a fun few weeks. We even went out for thai food for dinner.

Klaudia is doing well. She loves the apartment, probably even more than we do. She has been crawling like crazing and pulling herself up on every doorway, chair, etc. She only crawled once at the Krakow apartment, and now she doesn’t even want us to hold her, she wants to explore! She even drank out of a sippy cup tonight for a few minutes (here is hoping it wasn’t a fluke). She despises naps unless she is in mama’s arms, but we will work on that one.

OK...enough for now. We will update more soon! Looks like we are meeting up with two other families in town tomorrow – yay!




12 comments:

sarah said...

Congratulations to the Andrews family!!!!

We didn't receive any smiles during court either from the judge or the two jurors... As we were leaving after the final decision was made, we went up to thank the judge briefly - that is when the smiles came out. I think they are just so happy to have cases that have happy endings. :)

And double YAY to a shortened waiting period! You are so close to getting home. :)

kelly said...

Congrats!! That's so awesome that your appeal time was shortened!! Yea!!! Enjoy your time in Warsaw, how fun to meet up with other adoptive families :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!

Alie

Adoptive Parents of Three said...

I'm jealous that you get to meet the other families there! You are SO lucky!

I'm thrilled to hear everything went so smoothly for you. I hope the next few weeks will go for you real quick. There's a ton to do in Warsaw so that ought to keep you busy.

You should definitely pay a visit to the Zoo. Have you read the book "The Zookeeper's Wife"? It's about the Warsaw Zoo during WWII. An amazing story!

kelly said...

I'm glad the internet cooperated & let you put the pics up, they are great!! It would have been great to meet other families during our stay, add me to the jealous list:-)
Have fun!

CarrieJ said...

Yay for the photos! And, Yay, that Klaudia is taking to Daddy. They look so good together. She looks so very happy, not like the timid girl you first met at all! I can't wait to meet her. Maybe late October?

Us said...

Jennifer, I have been reading your blog from your link on the poland adoption forum on adoption.com. Thank you so much for putting your story out there for others, your daughter is so beautiful and from someone who is still waiting, it is incredible to practically watch what is happening- Congratulations on your official new family! You are blessed!

Shelly and BJ said...

Wonderful news and what beautiful pictures. I am so glad that you were able to make it so the salt mines.

I hope you are able to leave early. We had clearance, but were still not able to get a spot on a flight because they were all full. I hope you have much better luck. I will be crossing my fingers on this end. Congratulations again to your beautiful family!

Dowidzenia

Lee and Martha said...

Congratulations!!! I love the last picture of the moment that was captured of you staring at Klaudia. You both look so happy and complete. Wish you all the very very best!

C Speh said...

Congratulations! Such beautiful pictures. Sounds like your judges are similar to the ones up north! We were pretty nervous to after all of the questions. If you run into snags call the embassy staff yourself. We found this very helpful!

She does look so very happy.

THE SCHAEFERS said...

Congratulations to the newest Andrews and her mommy and daddy :)

Great pictures! Wishing you a speedy waiting period. Enjoy.

Jeff and Debbie said...

Jen,
It was so great meeting you, Ryan & Klaudia our last night in Warsaw. You all look so happy togther and we wish you many happy moments in the years to come togeher.