Adoption of Daniel

I will like to start our adoption story with the short info about us. We are a couple from La Coruña and we have decided to adopt in Ukraine. My husband Jesús was born in Coruña, and I Natalia, although I am also Spanish, was born in Kherson, Ukraine.

We decided to adopt in Ukraine mostly because I have my parents in Ukraine and every year we go to Ukraine on vacations and of course because of the Ukrainian language.

We have been preparing our documents for adoption almost 1 year and three months and finally on the 25th of May 2009 we registered our dossier in Kiev. Our appointment was on the 18th of June 2009.

First day in Kiev

We came to Kiev on June 16th at 6 p.m., he was waiting for us at the exit of the Airport Borispol, a taxi driver who was sent to us by our Facilitator. He drove us to the apartment in the centre of Kiev, next to the Independence Square. Our facilitator was waiting for us there and we all together went to have dinner.

Second day in Kiev

Next day at 12 o’clock in the afternoon we met with our facilitator for coffee. He explained us how our appointment would look like. Also he helped us to buy a new cell phone (calls are cheap in Ukraine) and the Internet card for our laptop. Then we ate on the terrace of one good restaurant on Khreshchatyk Street. And then we took a nap in our apartment, the apartment by the way was very which by the way was very nice (55 € per day). It had air conditioner TV, DVD, satellite TV, iron, fridge, washing machine, microwave, etc



Kiev



The apartment where we lived

First day of our appointment at the Department of Adoption in Ukraine

At the Department we had to be at 10 in the morning so at 9.30 our facilitator picked us up and went to the DA together. At the Department of Adoption we met one Italian family. They had their appointment too. When Maria (the representative of DA) finished with this couple and got out she invited us in. Normally they don’t allow couples to enter with their facilitator at the first appointment, they invite a translator, but in our case they left him come in with us. When we all sat, Maria began to take and show us children’s files. We had a preference for a girl, but from the fifteen sheets that we had been shown, 12 were for boys and most of them with health problems. The three available girls from this list were older than we had been allowed. We had permission for a child from 0 to 2 years old. It was a hard decision and we started to get sad and nervous, then our facilitator insisted again on giving us one more file. The other lady from Department of Adoption came in with two more files in her hands, one was for a girl and one was for a boy. The boy was 8 and the girl 5 and half years old.

We read the story of the girl, in the file it was said that she was healthy, she had only one little delay with speech. Then our eyes opened, we were told we could go and see her (we got the permission) but we needed to change the CI raising the age. We asked if they could call the orphanage and ask about her. They did and told us to go there today because the director would have his vacations from Friday and he would like to know if we want this girl.

We immediately ran to the train station to the tickets. The girl was in Chernivtsi city that is 700 km. from Kiev. We left to Chernivtsi at 7: 00 pm. Department of adoptions in Kiev



Department of adoptions in Kiev

Arrival at the orphanage of Chernovzi

On the halfway of our trip to Chernivtsi the son of our facilitator Alexius, joined us on the train. He was going to escort us to the orphanage and help to get to know the girl. Alexius is a lawyer, he speaks Spanish, Italian, English, French and Russian, and he is very nice and polite.

We arrived to the city of Chernivtsi at 9 in the morning. We took a taxi from the station and went directly to the orphanage. The orphanage was 30 km away from the city. On the way to the orphanage we bought a doll for the girl. At the orphanage we met with the director first and in 10 minutes a caregiver came in with the girl. She was so beautiful, with blonde hair and green eyes. The girl was very excited with the gift and we could not stop smiling. But our happiness was not long. The girl at the age of 5 and half could say nothing only “da” that is “yes” in English. We asked if the doctor can tell us about her health condition. In 5 minutes and doctor came in and told us about the girl’s heath condition. We asked the doctor why the girl could not speak and he could not say us. He didn’t know the reason. He doctor was honest and he could not give us guarantees that in the future she would be able to speak.

After a long thinking about this girl we took very hard decision for us. We both work every day and this girl needs a lot of extra attention and much work with her. Only house wife who spends time at home can properly every day, every minute work with the girl and help her. We really thought that this little girl would have better progress with family who has more time to work with her and has some knowledge of how to deal with her problem. With family who can give her all the attention and time. 2 Weeks later, our facilitator told us that a couple of Italians would taken her. This news made us so happy and we felt big relief because we loved that girl and wanted only the best for her., which calmed us a lot, since we were still thinking about her.

At the DA we were told that they had no healthy children from 0 to 2 years old so we decided in our documents to increase the age of a child for adoption. Because asking for the second appointment we could not ask DA to show us kids that are older than 2.

We called the person in our country that was responsible for documents and asked to increase the age and make it from 0 to 7. It was not a problem, the document was ready fast and our relative got it and sent to us in Kiev. Usually it takes 3 – 5 days for documents to come. While waiting for this document we had time for shopping and went to Kherson, one more city of Ukraine. But checking the UPS tracking number we noticed that our documents by mistake were sent to Hungary instead of Ukraine. After 10 long days (endless days) and dozens of phone calls our documents finally came and our facilitator could pick them up in Kiev.

Our facilitator called us and asked to be in Kiev on Monday afternoon. Our second appointment could be on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how fast the new files for new children could appear at the Department, so that they do not give us the same files for children than at the first appointment.



The Ukrainian train compartment

Second date at the DA

At 12 in the afternoon we entered the DA and met the same DA lady, she showed us 5 files with kids. No girls this time. But between all these files there was 1 file with the pix of Daniel. He is our son now. Daniel was 5 years old and was perfectly healthy, with the exception of some cavities in teeth. At the same evening we went to Zaporizhya which was native city of our son Daniel.

Zaparizhya is a huge city with almost 1 million inhabitants. The Dnieper River divides the city into two parts, the left and the right. It has a huge beach, good restaurants, shops and nice atmosphere at nights on the terraces and discos’ places.



Zaparozie Beach

Big Day! We met our son

When we arrived to Zaparozie we went to pick up the Inspector of Social worker’s office and the Director of the orphanage. All together we went to the summer camp to meet Daniel. He was in the camp that was about 10 km from Zapirizhya. When they came with Daniel he looked funny, dirty and with mosquito bites and the dirt on the face near his eyes. From the other side he looked so handsome, smiling and very loving. Soon we realized that this boy would be our child.

At the orphanage

From the first moment when we came to the orphanage we got great impression from the orphanage and all people. Everybody had good relations with us. The orphanage director, caregivers, doctor and nurses everybody was very nice with us. They provided us with all information that we asked about the child. Everything was well organized. At the evening we got info that many Americans, Italians and Spanish families had already adopted their children from this orphanage. The donation of these families helped to improve the situation at the orphanage.

Second day at the orphanage

Our Daniel was so skinny and we could not stay and went to the supermarket to buy him some yogurt, fruit, biscuits and fruit juices, also we went to the Pharmacy and got him some vitamins.

When we walked by the orphanage we saw a couple with a child. They asked us if we were Spanish, of course we said “yes”. In this way we met Toni and Gracia, from Valencia. For them it was their first visit to his son Hugo, and it was so nice to meet them. Their son Hugo was at the same group that our Daniel. They were roommates. We saw each other till the end or our adoption process.

Little summary

Every day we woke up at 8. 30 in the morning went shopping for our boy and had breakfast. At 10.00 o’clock every day we picked up taxi and went to the orphanage.

Dani began to call us mom and dad from the second day. Together with Dani, Toni, Gracia and their son Hugo we had great time and a lot of fun. We were giving kids food and vitamins (they ate everything very fast). And then we all were playing. We started to teach them some words in Spanish, showed them pix, our relatives on the pix.

In the evening the caregiver was taking boys back to the group and they had a nap. Since boys were at the same group they had good relations.

On the way back to the city we usually went shopping to get some food and other staff. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon we had lunch. Toni and Gracia were also visiting other orphanage because Hugo had sister at the other orphanage but at the end of the city. In the evening we had a little time to take a nap or to go to the beach.

Our dinner usually had together at 9 p.m. and then everybody could go back to the apartment waiting anxiously for the next day. The next day when we can go and see our kids again.

Interview with the head of social worker

The head of the social worker personally wanted to meet all couples that would adopt in his region. He usually has a right to say yes or no to the family. Our meeting time with him was at 3 p.m. We came to the social worker’s office but he was not there. The social worker called the boss two or three times and finally he came to the office at 5 p.m. The head of the social workers was asking us many questions the whole hour and it looked like he was trying to find out for himself if we were good or bad. He was asking us questions about us, our job, our house etc. And at the head social worker was positive, he liked us. On the 30th of July we had our court.

Court Day

One day before the court our facilitator came to Zaporizhya, we went for dinner all together and were talking about the court session, all possible questions. He explained us all the process of the court and helped us to understand what to expect and how everything would look like.

Our court had to be at 11 in the morning, on the way to the court the social worker called our facilitator and said that Dani had to be present at the court too. We rushed to the orphanage to pick up our Dani. Our little boy was stressed a little and it was his first time in the car.

When we came to the court building the director of the orphanage and the social worker still were not there so we had to wait for them. At the appointed time we arrived at the court. And when finally everybody came we could go in the court room. In total there were approximately 10 people: the judge, two judge assistances, the prosecutor, the director of the orphanage, social worker, our facilitator or son Daniel and us. The whole court session took 1 hour. During the court session we were asked about our jobs, our country, our house, our family life. In general everything went well and the atmosphere was friendly. The judge asked the social worker, director of the orphanage, prosecutor and witnesses if somebody knew something that could prevent us from the adoption of our son. Or if they want to say something. Everybody said that they were satisfied with our adoption process and they would be supportive and recommend like parents. All was ok and we ha good feeling and then our little one was asked by the judge.

The judge asked him if he knew who were his mom and dad. Dani nodded and pointed with the hand on us. Dani said “dad is Jesus and mom is Natalia”. It was the best moment and the most emotional moment.

Then the judge and assistances went to the other room to take decision. They returned in 15 and told their decision. We officially were proclaimed MOM and DAD. We were told that in 10 days we would have the official court decree and would be able to make new passport and birth certificate.

It was the best day and the best decision. We were waiting for this moment such a long day and finally that had happen. We took Dani and together with the orphanage director went back to the camp. In the car the director told us that tomorrow we would be allowed to have Dani out of the camp and we would be even allowed to have Dani for a night at our apartment. We would love to say that not everybody and not all directors can allow that before you get official documents for your child. But we had our boy and we were so happy!

After the court!

As my husband had to return to Spain because of his job, we went to the notary to make a power of attorney so that I could get the Passport for Dani and his new birth certificate without my husband and escort him to Spain. The director allowed me to have Dani with me out of the camp every morning. With Dani we went for a walk every day, we went to the park in the city and were shopping a little. I wanted to buy him new clothes and toys. Little Dani was so impressed with everything; he has never seen so many shops and clothes. He loved the park and

With the permission of the director we picked Dani up every morning of the camp, we were going to walk with him through the parks of the city, and some stores to try him and buy him some clothes. Little Daniel was shocked with everything; he loved the amazing park and wanted to see as much as possible.

Jesus returns to Spain

I went to the airport with my husband. We took a train and went to Kiev. In Kiev we took taxi and went to Borispol Airport. It is approximately 50 km from the center of Kiev. I said bye to my husband and rushed back to the railway station to catch the train back to Zaporizhya. It was hard to be without my boy.

Waiting for the court decree!

Days were going by, every morning I was picking up my dani and we went to the park, he likes swings, he loved to eat out with me and to take a nap. At 6 we were coming back to the camp. One day I took him to the dentist. I know that Ukrainian dentists are good and very cheap.

Dani’s last day at the orphanage

Dani leaft the orphanage forever it was the best day for me and very touching moment.

In the morning our facilitator came to Zaparizhya and we went together to got the court decree. Then we went to the orphanage to see Dani and to sign many documents there. The director by the way had two daughters, and they were adopted from the same orphanage. One is already married and lives away from home, and the other was just finishing a degree in history.

It is normally to give a donation to the orphanage when you are getting your child. So, I gave 250 euro. The facilitator told us that the gift to the orphanage depends on the city where the orphanage is, there are some cities such as Odessa, Kherson, Donetsk, where the donation is much more. We said goodbye to the director and little Daniel´s group and left to the apartment.



Streets of Zaporizhya

The first night with Dani

I could hardly sleep. Danielito could not fall asleep, everything was new, new bad, new pillow. No kids! .

Second day without the orphanage

We went to the passport office to get new birth certificate and then to make new passport fort Dani. I signed a couple of documents, and at the passport office we agreed that they would send the passport to Kiev and we would pick it up. .

Goodbye Zaporizya!

First thing that I did after that was my trip to the railway station for my tickets to Kherson. It is my hometown and the city where my parents live. Dani and I spent a few days with them so grandparents could meet their little grandson.



Zaporizya Railway Station

 



On the train back to Kiev

We came to Kiev, got passport for Dani and went to the embassy to apply for visa.

At the embassy we met Toni and Gracia, it was such a nice meeting. We spent together the whole month during our adoption and really became good friends. All together we spent great time in Kiev with their 2 kids and my little Dani. Kids had great time and we really enjoyed our time.



Kiev independence square

 

Kreshatik (Kiev)

Last day in Kiev

The morning was really beautiful; when I woke up I saw that my little Daniel was already up. He looked at me and gave me a kiss.

At noon we met Toni and Gracia and their children, Hugo and Telma. All together we went to the typical Ukrainian restaurant, on the outskirts of Kiev. The food was very tasty and it was great for kids because at the traditional Ukrainian restaurant they had animals to look at: horses, rabbits, etc. At the restaurant as soon as we arrived and musicians noticed that we were Spanish they started to sing song in Spanish. It was so nice! The food was delicuous, the children enjoyed nature and animals (they rode horses). At the end of the meal we went all together had a trip in the boat along the shore of the Dnieper River. .



Typical Ukrainian restaurant on the outskirts of Kiev



Boat trip on the Dnieper in Kiev



Cable car in Kiev

Trip back home

At 5 o'clock in the morning we left to the airport of Kiev. Took a plane and came to La Coruña. Jesus was at the airport waiting for us, Dani ran to him saying “dad, dad, dad”. It was the moment of the bigger happiness. We all were together.



Plane back to Spain



Barajas (Madrid)

Post - adoption story

It is so hard to tell you on the paper how excited and happy we were with our adoption. Daniel brought to you home happiness!

It is a big job to be good mom and dad, but everybody on this planet cannot feel happy without children and it is the best joy in the life to feel love of a child and to become mom and dad! .

Yes, when we adopt kids, we can meet little problems. It is normally and we all must be ready for that. But in a very short time you will see how they improve the language and how they learn how to live in the family and listen to you and follow rules. Your child will be so happy and grateful to you. You will be so much loved and will love him/her most of all in your life.

The day when we met our Dani was a blessed day for us!

Daniel was very well behaved. From the first day he showed himself as a sensitive child, loving and intelligent. He always slept the whole night. Of course, I had one advantage, I could explain him in Ukrainian what to expect and where we were going. But please remember that it is not the problem for kids to learn the language. It is the last thing you have to worry about.

Dani always was full of energy and happiness, he always had good attitude.

Education of our adopted child

We sent our Dani to the swimming pool and so he could have swimming lessons. He loved that from the first day and was very excited. At first it was hard for him without knowing the language but after a month of lessons he did great, made new friends and looked happy.

The biggest problem that we had with Dani was connected with food. He didn’t use to eat well. All the sweets, healthy food and new flavors everything was new for him. So at the beginning at school and at home it was hard for Dani to find something that he liked. He was a little angry when he could not find the food he liked. He was refusing to eat. But in some time, he used to our food and started to think it is fun!

Dani loved our city and his first Christmas in the family with mom and dad, first Christmas tree and a lot of gifts. At the orphanage Santa was bringing kids only candies

Having Daniel with us we had to work harder but from the other hand it was so much fun. The child at home makes the house look happy and full of joy!