We spent today in search of a notary, and didn’t get to visit with our boys, so if you only checked out our blog today to see cute new pictures, I am sad to tell you that I have none to share today. Instead of playing with our little guys this morning, we needed to get some papers prepared for our adoption. So we hailed the one and only taxi cab in the village:
and our amazing facilitator convinced him to drive us to the next village over. The taxi driver told us that he was born and raised in this village, and that he doesn’t usually have reason to leave the village. But you see, the notary in this town is not working this week. (That is what happens when we arrive smack dab in the middle of the holidays. NOBODY wants to work this week!) This taxi driver’s tired little Soviet car was not sure if it could make it to the next village. However, we were told there was a notary who was working this week there, so we squeezed into the backseat of the tiny car and away we roared!
We found the village, found the notary’s office (after stopping a few times for our facilitator to ask the locals for directions) and found that the notary was not there. But she may come back. Perhaps in a half hour. Please sit down and wait. And so we waited. And waited. And less than two hours later, low and behold, she came back! Our facilitator went into her office and they talked. At length. We waited. Finally our facilitator came back out. She told us that the notary was not able to help us with the sort of papers we needed. Hmmm.
However, she did know of a notary in the larger city nearby who would be able to do these papers. So we convinced the taxi driver that his car could make it that much further, and soon we found ourselves rattling and bouncing down the highway toward the larger city. The little car dodged in and out of traffic in the city, stalled several times at crucial moments in busy intersections, and yet always managed to roar back to life. We arrived at our destination and the poor taxi driver took off his stocking cap and wiped his sweaty brow, shaking his head in wonder. I think he was just about as surprised as I was that we all made it in one piece!
We went into the notary’s office. And you will never guess what we did then . . . we waited! (In case you haven’t noticed yet, international adoption is full of opportunities to practice one’s skills at waiting!) We sat in the waiting room for at least another hour. I read my Easy Russian Phrase Book to pass the time, and Derek played a game on his cell phone. Word of advice to those coming after me: bring a book to read, even if you thought you were just heading out to visit your children that morning and wouldn’t possibly have a spare moment to read a book. You never know when your plans may change!
Finally the papers were drawn up and we signed where we needed to sign. We got back in the car and I held my breath the whole way back. We were all very thankful when the car's engine coughed, sputtered, and quieted in its parking place back in the village. We unfolded ourselves, climbed out, paid the driver enough to ensure a very happy Christmas for him and his family, and realized that nearly the whole day had passed. No visit with the boys today. But tomorrow we will be back to see them. So be on the lookout for pictures tomorrow!