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.....Adopting in Almaty.....The Laura Edition......
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Thursday 05.10.2001

Day 12

Today we went to court

Lufthansa pilots on strike today.....
Power went out at 8:30 am, so we couldn't watch the news reports on the strike.
Power still off when Igor picked us up at 10:30-had to walk down to the ground floor since there was no power for the elevator.
Igor took Jim, Sarah, Sheila, Don, Tatyana, and an official from Sheila's orphanage & Dina (head of city orphanages) to court.
Went to the court building at 11:5 am & up to second floor courtroom. Everyone & Sheila went into the courtroom while Jim & Sarah waited in an adjoining room.
Within half an hour, everyone came out as Sheila's hearing was done.
A short time later, the judge summoned them back in 7 announced Sheila gained immediate custody of Benjamin. In the waiting area congrats were passed around.
A few minutes later, it was our turn (Laura's director Larissa arrived to join us). The hearing lasted about half an hour. I was asked many basic questions, not unlike the experience with Michael in Magnitogorsk.
The judge asked Sarah 2 questions..."Do you like Laura?" & "Do you want her as a little sister?"
The judge asked why Suze wasn't there.explained that Kazak gov't paperwork problems prevented her from getting a visa.
After questions were asked of us, Larissa made a statement in our behalf & Dina made a statement in our behalf.
We adjourned to the waiting room for a brief period. We returned to the courtroom while the judge announced that we gained immediate custody of Laura. In the waiting room Congrats were again passed around.
We left and dropped off the woman from Sheila's orphanage & dropped Sheila off at her apartment.
Igor dropped us off & came upstairs to get Jim's Power of Attorney doc.
As we parked Olga was leaving (she had come to clean0. She said the power was still off.
We walked to the 5th floor, as we were walking up the power came back on!
Igor said he'd pick us up at 3pm to go to the Vital Statistics Office.
In the meantime we tried to find out about Lufthansa by watching TV,
At 3pm the doorbell rang, It was Igor he wanted to know why we didn't answer the phone. Told him it didn't ring! Picked it up-it was dead.
Went, with Sheila, to one Vital Statistics office. (North of downtown) Signed some paper & proceeded to another vital statistics office in the vicinity of Laura's orphanage
Oh Yeah
When Igor first picked us up, Don called Igor's car phone & told me that Suze's flight was still on for today!
As we pulled into the second vital statistics office, Don called back & said Suze had called him from Frankfurt & said that the flight to Almaty was canceled due to the Lufthansa strike. She will arrive 10:40pm on Friday.
Don told Suze our phone wasn't working.
Back at the apartment at 4:50pm (phone still not working), watched German TV report of the strike then went to the internet cafe. Sent of few emails.

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