Link to 12/3 Photos
12-3-2004 Journal
Link to 12/4 Journal
Link to 12/2 Journal
Today we had our pre-court hearing with the judge who will be ultimately granting us custody.

We arrived at the court house at 2 P.M. dressed professionally for our appointment with his honor.  We were ushered
into a waiting room and waited for about 20 minutes until the judge was ready for us.  At the pre-court hearing were
Olga (adoption coordinator), Alssia (interpreter), the baby house director and an official from the ministry of education.

When it was time we all went into the judge's chambers which was a very large, clean office with a fake wood floor
patterned linoleum, high ceilings a conference table, a large oak desk with a computer and a picture of the president
of Kazakhstan hanging on the wall.  Your mom and I were seated with Assia between us facing the judge who was
sitting behind his large desk.  Everyone else was seated to our side at the large conference table.

The judge was very stern as he intently reviewed our file and asked us questions without looking up.  We were well
prepared for the questions and we were only on the spot for about 5 minutes.  Then the Baby house director read a
prepared speech about the health of you two, how your birth mother had twice waived custody and that the baby
house director herself recommended that the court grant us custody.

The seen then turned a bit comical as the judge starting waiving different pictures of the two you at us asking who was
who.  We had given him the pictures but failed to label them.  One by one he asked us and your mom and I answered,
"Alphia...Alphia...Fatima...".  It was cute because we have both come to recognized your subtle differences in spite of
your identical appearance.

The judge then, in a very perfunctory manner, set your official court date for 11 A.M. this Tuesday and we were then
immediately led out of the room.