We had our court appearance this morning here in Latvia. It went very smoothly. It is always tricky to talk through a translator as you're never quite sure if you're supposed to look at the translator or the person you are speaking to (in this case a panel of 3 judges). Thankfully, the "main" judge (the one asking all the questions) was very kind and on occasion would even show some expression which helped a bit. You never quite know the "tone" being used when everything being said to you is through your attorney/ translator. Overall, I think it went well and within half an hour we were granted permission to take our little girl into our custody for the "care and supervision" period which will last from today until August 7th. During this time a court appointed social worker will come and visit us up to 3 times to ensure that there is bonding between us and the child. Her first visit will be tomorrow at 3:30.
After court, which only Bill and I attended, I rode back to the orphanage to sign some paperwork and get Raimonda. She came into the room, grabbed hold of my neck and wouldn't let go. It was priceless! She even had some luggage! It was the bag that her host mama had sent back with her from when she came to America last winter. She insisted that she roll it herself, but eventually let me help her with it over the cobblestone streets (which make everything more difficult).
She got a bit upset when we returned to her building to hand out gifts to the other children in her group as well as her teacher. She couldn't understand why we were going back there and weren't leaving right away!
She also got upset when we entered our apartment building and kept saying "No, no!" She doesn't want to stay in Latvia and can't understand why we aren't getting on an airplane to go to America right now! She was a bit weepy after lunch and wanted to leave! Some play dough therapy helped to calm her down for a bit and then we were able to get her to take a bit of a nap.
I need to go rouse the gang so that we can hopefully get over this jet lag. We were all awake at midnight last night! I have very low expectations for the evening; a snack, some games, mac & cheese with tiny sausages for supper, a short movie and the bedtime routine to get through. Let the bonding begin.....