Well, this day went NOTHING like I imagined it would! Tatyana said that she would pick us up this morning at 9:15 to sign some papers. I had no idea that we were going to sign ALL the paperwork today to make Jackson ours! It was a full day and we didn’t get back to the apartment until dinnertime. Here’s how the day went down in photos:
This is the courthouse. Tatyana ran inside and picked up our packet of paperwork from the court.
Next we needed to get the court papers notarized and we went to three different notaries before we found one open.
This is the building that we got Jackson’s new birth certificate at. The new certificate lists Scott and I as the parents. What’s interesting is that it says Scott and Lindsey Howell, although that wasn’t really my name on July 28, 2008… oh well!
Then we went to this building to get the birth certificate legalized for the US Embassy.
Then we drove to this building to sign a paper saying we wanted to expedite Jackson’s passport.
Then we stopped at this building for lunch. 🙂
After lunch we went on a joyride. When I say joyride, I mean that the driver literally drove on the sidewalks of a park to get to where we were going. I’m not talking about a small park, we drove for about 3 minutes through this park while people scurried out of the way. Tatyana’s comment was “We have no time to drive by road”.
Then we went to this building to apply for Jackson’s tax identification number. This is like the Ukrainian version of America’s social security number. There were a lot of people in this little office filling out forms. The lady asked to see one of our passports, so I gave mine to Tatyana. I saw her slip a bill into the passport and she kind of smirked and went along. Interestingly we got out of that office before the other people waiting before us. Hmmm…
Next we drove to this office, which is the citizenship office. We just waited in the car for a long time.
Then we went to our favorite spot in Kharkiv- the orphanage! We needed to pick up Jackson so that he could get his photo for the passport. We were very weary about how the car ride would go and if he would get motion sickness. They brought him out and a nurse actually got in the car with us. So, imagine there’s three adults and a baby riding in the back of this car. It was kind of ironic since we went through all of the training and safety inspections back in the States, only to have a kid sitting on our laps!
Jackson really enjoyed the car ride! He looked really stunned when the car started driving and we pulled away from the orphanage. So many new things! We pointed at all the trees and machinas (cars).
We went back to the citizenship office and waited in the car for Tatyana… for a long time. It’s kinda hard to keep a toddler entertained while being cramped in the back of a car with three adults. And it was about 90 degrees in the car and we all had our winter jackets on.
The last place we went was the passport office. It looked like a regular government building on the inside with wooden floors and a big chandelier. Jackson waited patiently for about 20 minutes. The nurse was there with us and she had crackers for him and also let him play with her keys. We were finally called into the back and he sat on a stool and they took his picture. It was good on the first try! Good job Jackson!
We took Jackson back to the orphanage and he did the funniest thing in the car. The sun had set when we were in the passport office, so it was dark on the way home. He sat in the middle on Scott’s lap and as soon as the car started, he yelled “Maaaaaaaaama!” We all snickered! We took him back to the orphanage and our day was over!
So now we can officially announce that Jackson is ours! We are so happy to officially be parents and can’t wait to take him out of the orphanage on Friday!