Saturday, July 2, 2011

Court Day!

On Friday at 1:30 we went to court to officially adopt our two little ones!

All of the court proceedings were so fast and easy- just what we had prayed for!

Our judge was a very kind woman who has a heart for orphans and made the process very easy for us. She asked us each several questions and each time we had to stand and give our answer. All of her questions were simple, like "Please explain your motivation to adopt," or "Please tell us how you will provide financially for these children," and "Are you aware of the medical needs of these children?". My favorite question though was asked by the head social worker "What does your son think of his new brother and sister? Is he happy about the adoption and does he have a favorite of the two children?" When I answered that one everyone in the courtroom smiled and laughed that Henry already loves both his brother and his sister and that he is most excited to share a room with his brother when he gets home!

About half an hour before court we were given a statement that we needed to memorize for court.... we thought WHAT? You couldn't have told us this beforehand? But our sweet facilitator assured us that it was no big deal if we didn't say it perfectly, as long as we got the information all in there.

It wasn't long before it was time for us to give our memorized request to the court:

"We, James and Erica Jenkins request to adopt Ivan and Victoria. We request that both of their last names be changed to Jenkins. We request that Ivan's name be changed to Charles Eric Ivan. We request that Victoria's name be changed to Betsy Kate Victoria. We request that their recorded birth dates and places of birth remain unchanged in the record. We request that we be recorded as their parents"

The judge and the two jurors left the room and when they came back only moments later we were congratulated as the parents of two new children!!!

Afterwards, as we were standing on the sidewalk outside the courthouse one of the two jurors came up to us and told us through our translator how much she appreciated that we were caring for the orphans of her country. She was so kind and complimentary of our family- it was a very touching moment for James and I.

The front doors to the courthouse.

Several people have asked about the origins of our little ones names. Charles Eric Ivan: Charles is a family name, Eric is my dad's name (who I'm obviously named after!) and Ivan is the name his birthmother gave him. Betsy Kate Victoria: Betsy is after my sister Beth's nickname, Kate is after James's sister Katie, and Victoria is the name given by her birthmother. We have not started to call the children by their new names- they are going to be experiencing so many transitions very quickly and so we will take some time to introduce their new names. Until that time we will continue to call them by the nicknames they are used to: Vanya and Vika (you may hear us calling her Vita as well- she was called by both nicknames in the Baby House). As for those that have asked how the two of them get along- they love each other and watch out for each other- Vanya always makes sure that when he has a drink that she is getting a drink too- darling!

As soon as court was over we got to take Betsy Kate and Charlie for their very first car ride with us! We took them to have their photos made for their passports. Their caregivers dressed them so cute and slicked their hair down too!
1 As you can see... no one wears seatbelts here... there aren't any in most back seats anyway. And a car seat? What is that!? We see babies standing up in backseats of cars waving out the back windows all over the place!

Charlie was a little nervous about the car ride, but got really excited when he saw the buses going by!

After their photos we went back to the Baby House for our first time together as an official family of five! It was also our last visit all together until I get back home with them.

Our hilarious attempts at a little family photo...

Taking them back upstairs to their Groupa (family group). Miss Betsy Kate LOVES to climb stairs all by herself, thank you very much.

The look on Henry's face tells it all- none of us were happy to tell our little ones "Paka" that day.

No worries my little ones, the next time I see you we'll be saying "Paka" to the Baby House and going home! I know that it will be scary leaving the only home and only "Mamas" that you've ever known, but there is a world of joy awaiting you and we're going to help you experience it all as you are ready!


  1. I have bawled through this whole thing...lucky kiddos!! Have safe journeys coming back, going back and coming home with the littles, as you call them. All prayers with you.

  2. I am so happy for you guys!! Congratulations!!!! They are beautiful!

  3. All of you look so happy! We all cheered when we heard the good news from Granny Pat yesterday. Some challenges ahead but there's more than enough love to take care of all the transition. We can't wait for the day we hear that all five of you are at home together. Love to all.

  4. Congratulations!!!! I'm glad court went well. Can't wait to welcome a few new little Oklahomans home!

  5. YAHOO!!!! Im so grateful your court went well, quick and smooth!!! Im so excited that before you know it all of you will be home and together. Im super duper thrilled at the honor of being able to follow your journey and see two more lovies from my babies baby house have their very own mommy and daddy and not just rotating "mamas." Praying for all the travels that still lie ahead.~ Trina

  6. Oh Erika, I am so happy for you & your family!! It is so wonderful to see your little ones so happy and looking so healthy! I LOVE "angie's" new name! She just looks like a Betsy! :) YAY!!! Praying that your trip home is smooth and your waiting period FLIES by!!! Mel

  7. Congratulations!!! I have been following and am so happy for your family!! We are finally heading back to the states next weekend with our little one from EE!!! Sooo excited to see court went well for you guys.
    Praise God He is Good!

  8. so so happy it all went well!!!!!
    hope your flights home went well and you are relaxing before heading back!!!

  9. Congratulations Erica and James! What a beautiful new family you have! I hope you have safe travels home and then back to pick up your new son and daughter!