It was all going so well, Amanda and I had given our little speeches, all the docs looked to be in order, answered a few simple questions from the prosecutor about Leah and just at the final hurdle the judge asked for proof that we owned the land our house is built on. We pointed out our letter from our bank confirming that we owned the property at our address, etc but apparently this is not good enough, she wanted a letter confirming we owned the land also!
To be admissible in a Russian court every document must be notarized and legalized so it was not an option to simply have a document emailed from home, aarrgghh!!
Thankfully we brought an additional letter from our bank which again confirms we are the property owner and also that the title on the property is freehold. The definition of Freehold in UK law means that we own both the house AND the land.
So. We are having this letter translated and notarized today, along with some notes on the definition of freehold under UK law and we are heading back to the court tomorrow at 2.30pm to resume the hearing and we trust and pray that the court will be satisfied with this clarification.
We were due to fly back home tomorrow afternoon so after leaving the court today we had to embark on a 5 hour round trip within Moscow to get to a BMI office and change our flight times. There are MASSIVE pro Putin and anti Putin demonstrations all round Moscow today after last nights elections so the traffic which is normally merely horrific is now something approaching a crime against humanity!
After some light gouging by the BMI cashier we are now back in our apartment and reflecting on the last few hours. we expected a pleasant 45mins in court followed by a trip out to see Will officially as his parents. Didn't quite work out that way but we still believe that everything is in Gods hands and we trust that our court visit tomorrow will go according to plan.
We then leave our apartment at 4AM on Thursday morning and should arrive in Belfast some time that afternoon. As always, only predictable thing about inter-country adoption is its unpredictability!!
*More deep calming breaths*
Philip & Amanda