So I posted several days ago that we had hired a private investigator in Ukraine to search for Katya's birth family.
We wanted to find out more about the circumstances surrounding her being placed in an orphanage and we wanted to try to get as much family history as possible to share with her when she gets a little older.
We also really wanted to find the families that adopted her older brother and sister. Her brother is here in the U.S. and we really want to find him. Her sister is in France.
Yesterday our PI emailed us and said he'd found the family and he sent us a long report on them along with lots of pictures!
Katya's bio mom is actually Russian and her mother (Katya's grandmother lives in Moscow). Several of her siblings were visiting their grandmother in Moscow so the PI couldn't get pictures of them.
Katya's bio father is Ukrainian and met her mother in Moscow in the mid nineties when he left Ukraine to find work in Russia. They fell in love and she moved back to Ukraine with him to the village they live in now.
We got pictures of their house and they are very poor. They said that when Katya was born the doctors told them that they should relinquish parental rights because they would never be able to care for her because of her cerebral palsy. Its sad to say, but the Drs were right. Katya really was better off in the orphanage. An orphange is not a good place for a child, but in her case they did try to take care of her as best they knew how. Her parents really did what they felt was best for her because they did not have the means to take care of her. Our PI said they were very happy that we adopted her and told him to thank us for taking their baby to our house and that they were sorry that they couldn't take her home with them but they were very happy to see that she had been adopted and was being taken care of the way they weren't able to do.
They want to have contact with us, gave us their address and cell phone, were happy to pose for pictures; and the surprise news was that Katya has two baby sisters! One is even named after her. I plan on sending them birthday and Christmas presents and as Katya gets older I will get her to help me pick out things for them. The littlest one looks just like her!
We realize that this is probably not the ordinary "happy ending" adoption story but we are very happy for Katya that she will have this connection with her birth family.
The bad news is that the word that rhymes with "itchy"(and I mean witchy -hah!) orphanage director refused to give us or the PI any info about the families that adopted Katya's brother and sister. She has it but refuses to share the info with us. We thought she was hateful during the adoption process but thought that maybe it was just how things were done. The hoops she made us jump through (as if there weren't enough!) and the extra documents we had to have done up by notaries and the strict visitation requirements and no photographs policies she had just drove us nuts the whole time. (example)
She told us that we had to buy them copy paper before they would start paperwork on something we needed. So we went walking around 15 degree Kharkiv by ourselves looking for copy paper. I would say we found it by dumb luck, but I know God just guided us to that little office supply shop before we froze to death!
(example 2) She told us that we had to visit twice a day for a combined total of more than 3 hours. Problem: we had to sit on a couch in a hall with nothing to do. How long do you think it took Katya to get over the novelty of that? One day. We tried walking her around. No, you can't let her walk, its bad for her legs. You can't play with the grouppa. You can't take pictures. You can't go outside. You can go upstairs to sit on the couch up there. You know, the one with only one light bulb. FUN!
(example 3) When she found out that only Phillip would be coming back to pick up Katya, she made our translator write an ENTIRE PAGE of stipulations to add to my POA. We had to have this extra document typed up and notarized just for this lady because she said without it, Phillip couldn't take Katya out of the orphanage. Nice.
We asked about her siblings twice. Both times this lady refused to give us the info.
We had hoped that once we adopted Katya and sent pictures back of her happy with her brothers would be enough to convince this lady that she deserved to know her brother.
I had to laugh because our PI was M.A.D. at this lady for how rude she was to him lol! We thought he'd have better luck with her than we did but evidentially not. He said she was not a good person and kept demanding money from him. He said he felt he was talking to a wall and an alive person. Haha Yes, that's how we felt, but thought maybe it was the language barrier? Nah, not so much. This lady really rang our bell while we were there and we just had to take it because we wanted no problems with her while we were adopting Katya.
So our PI suggested that we contact the SDA and ask them about the families who adopted Katya's siblings. I might try to do that but last I heard, the SDA had closed down and was moving to a new department but no one knew when, where, or how long this would take. At this point I feel like I've hit a dead end.
Argh! I really wanted to find her brother. If anyone out there has any suggestions (other than posting on FRUA or Ukrainian angels yahoo group) I'd love to hear them. Her brother is 7 so they are pretty close in age and would be able to have something in common while growing up. I also have lots of info on his bio mom and dad that his parents might like so this is so frustrating to not be able to find him.