Sunday, January 13, 2013

Part 4: Getting To Know Her - Court!

I woke up Wednesday morning with butterflies in my stomach.  I wasn't sure how Munni would be after crying herself to sleep the night before and we were going to court.  Thankfully, she was so happy to see me :)  We cuddled for a little bit and then had to get moving to be ready in time to leave for court.

She loves routine so the whole shower/getting ready thing was a blast for her!  After she was dried off, she ran to my suitcase.  I wondered what she was doing and then it all made sense.  The night before when we were at the mall, I bought some things for my family for Christmas.  In the first store when I really started to not feel well, I bought some scarves, a shirt for my nephew, and a Salwar Kameez for my 8 year old, tall-for-her-age, niece.  I'm going to date myself by what I say next, but this store reminded me of the old Benetton stores; everything folded into cubbies.  When I picked the Salwar Kameez for my niece, I never even unfolded it, I just took it from the shelf because I liked the color pink it was, and added it to the pile of other things I was purchasing.  Well, I'm learning that nothing gets by Munni :)  That little peanut ran to my suitcase, found the bag from that store, pulled out the folded Salwar Kameez, put it on the bed and then turned to me jumping up and down, clapping her hands and squealing with delight.  Seriously?  How could I say no to her!!  It was WAY too big for her but if you would have seen the expression on her face, you would have melted too.  I rolled the pants over 4 or 5 times and just went with the top being too long.  She picked out the hot pink headband, her pink bracelet, and pink flip flops.  She was all set!  She also had me put the flavored lip gloss on her.  Then she put her little pink sunglasses in her pink Barbie purse and was ready to go!

My Indian Princess!
 While we ate breakfast, M. schooled me on what to do and what not to do at court.  This made me even more anxious but I just kept praying that everything would go smoothly.  We finished breakfast and headed to the car.  When we got to the court, I was surprised by how it looked.  The buildings didn't have that official "federal" look to them, instead, it looked like a big apartment complex with a huge tree in the middle of the courtyard.  We got there at 10:00 am and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  M. had told me not to bring the iPad because of the area so instead, Munni had her magna doodle, stickers, cards, and a little notebook.  We sat under the tree and just waited.  Not once did Munni ever complain, whine, or do anything that suggested she was bored.  When she was done playing with her stickers, she got out the notebook and started writing her numbers.  I couldn't believe it!  I loved watching her and her methodology.  I could tell the way the teacher had taught them to write out their numbers.  She would write a column of tens, draw a straight line next to them, and then start on the next group.
My little student
After about 2 hours of waiting under the tree, we were able to move inside to the hallway.  It was very busy and people were moving in and out.  However, this is not like a typical court building you would see as there were some who were waiting that you would never see inside a federal building in the states :)  The funny thing is that everyone got out of HIS way instead of visa versa.
Just wandering the halls....
Is that an itch you got there?
After about an hour in the hallway, we were able to move into the court room.  We sat in the back row and I looked around at the peeling paint on the walls, the ceiling fan slowly circulating, and could hear the call to prayer in the background as the court is in an area with a large concentration of M*slims.  Through the iron honeycomb window grid, Munni and I saw a cat walking along the red, clay tiles of the roof of the building next to ours.  I kept waiting for Harrison Ford to show up because I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie.  An hour later at 2 pm,  it was finally our turn to go before the judge!  She was a stern looking woman.  Munni and I walked up to the bench and I bent down and picked up Munni.  My attorney was on the other side.  I just kept smiling and kissing Munni.  The judge never asked me any questions but she did actually smile at me.  Well, it was more like a half smile, but still, I took that as a positive!  She spoke in Hindi so I have no idea what she said.  We were in front of her for a whole 5 minutes and then it was over!  We walked out of the room and M. turned to me and said, "Congratulations.  Munni is your daughter!"  I don't know if it's because this process has been so crazy with so many what ifs that I didn't truly feel like it was real.  I kept asking her, "Are you sure?"    She also told me that my case was the smoothest she had ever had!  I thanked God for answering my prayers :)  We stayed around for about a half an hour to fill out the bond and some other paperwork.  Finally, we got in the car to leave.  I still couldn't believe it!!
We are family!
I LOVE her dimples :)
 We got in the car and left.  We had a couple of errands to run and after about 5 minutes, Munni fell asleep next to me.  I think it was probably exhausting for her to just sit there all morning and afternoon. I picked her up and put her on my lap.  She laid her head against my chest, wrapped her arms around me, and I felt her body completely give way.  I was holding her, rubbing her back, kissing her head, and looking out the window as the city passed us by.  Never in my life have I felt so blessed.  All I could think is that I didn't ever want this car ride to end....


  1. What a bewildering, beautiful experience! I just love how Munni seems to settle right in with you . . . that is truly a gift, along with the easy court appearance! So, so happy you two "officially" belong to each other now!

  2. Congratulations!!! Praise the Lord!!! :) :) I am so happy for you and Munni!! :)

  3. So, so, so beautiful! I love your whole story...such a testimony to the goodness of God. Now I cannot wait until you go back again!!!!!!

  4. Such a beautiful picture of the two of you - officially mother and daughter - in the car with her relaxed in your arms. So happy for you and Munni!

  5. Oh Kristen, you were certainly meant for one another!

  6. Congratulations! I've been following your blog and love that you are officially her mother : )Thanks for the magnadoodle tip..that's a great idea for the plane ride home!

  7. Oh I love! And you certainly deserved a smooth court after everything else it took to get to Munni :)