Nico calls to tell me he is close and to come down.
The paper chase begins!
We cross over the river and arrive at Hamilton's orphanage to pick up paperwork. I believe we are picking up his original birth certificate so that we can have it changed to reflect us as his parents and his new name. I wait in the car.
That was quick! Now we're off to see a notary. He says they get in at 9am and we will stop by one near court to save time.
Arrive at notary. I wait in the car. "I'll be back", he says and lights and cigarette as he gets out of the car. I open the door to let the smell escape best I can.
He's back. They don't open until 10am so we leave to go get court decree.
Records agency. Actually just a parking lot between the court building and records agency? He tells me I will wait for him while he walks over and picks up court decree then brings it back to the records agency to have it recorded. We walk around to the cafe where he tells me I will wait.
He would probably have a fit if he saw my feet on his dashboard. Better take them down. I need a pedicure worse than I ever have. And not just because my toenails need painting. While my finger nails are longer than they've been in years, my feet show all the signs of the couple hours I spend walking each day.
He's back. I've been sitting with the door open and he decides to open the windows for me. He goes into the building behind us to register the court decree, I presume. It's much cooler in the car with the nice breeze.
I've run out of lives on candy crush. It's going to be a long day.
He's back. He takes the birth certificate and says that he will walk back to the notary and I will stay here. So I do. I sure wish the hamburger place behind me was open. Even though it's only 10am, a hamburger sounds really, really good! I've been listening to my audio book but really wish I had a REAL book to fully keep my attention.
He's back and now it's time for me to go inside with him. As we walk up to the 4th floor he is making calls to try and do something different with the passports. Originally we were going to have to go to two different offices to apply for the passports, the city office for Hamilton and the region office for the baby since his orphanage is outside of the city. He says we will safe time if we can do both at one office. He points me to a chair and walks back out to make another call.
I sit in the hallway and wait. He walks back in and tells me he's doing preparatory work, calling ahead to the places we will go.
They come out with two envelopes and we are off. We go by a lady's office and they converse, I thank her, for what I have no idea, and we head back to the car.
He explained on the way out where we are going and what we are doing. It's confusing because sometimes they call different offices the same thing. I believe now we are headed to a different records place where we will change Hamilton's "ID code". This is much like our social security numbers from what I can tell. Are we headed to Boyarka? I'm a little confused.
We do not go to Boyarka. We have crossed back over the river but still are in the city very near Dream 1 and Dream 2 which are large entertainment type malls. One has an indoor water park and the other more of an arcade/gaming type floor. I notice a sign for "Mothercare" which is baby clothing store I like very much. There is one at the metro stop I get on and off when I catch the bus to go visit the baby in Boyarka. Can't wait to check this one out, which is bound to be much closer to my apartment! We park at the government building and I wait while he goes to see a notary. He says he hopes he will be back soon.
Phone says my battery is at 20%. Crap.
He came back for one of the envelopes we received at the previous building and went into the government building. Before leaving, he pointed to the door, telling me there was an interesting book about Kyiv and said he would call me when I needed to come in and sign. I dug out my in-county phone so I'd be sure to hear his call. We have a bit of...emmm...a history of me not hearing the phone when he calls me. Nico is not fun when he's annoyed, especially not when running all over the place to get things done for you. The phone is set on the loudest ringer setting and waiting in my lap.
He comes back and says it will take one hour. I suggest we get some lunch while we wait. He asks me where and I laugh. I tell him it's his city! Although he used to live "here" 10 years ago, he says he does not know but thinks maybe there is a McDonald's close. I tell him it was my husband who was so happy when a McDonald's was an option. He walks me around the corner to McDonald's and explains that 5 years ago he lived in this district for 10 years. He chuckles and tells me he knows where to get a beer but not where to go eat.
French fries and a coke it is. I would have rather had something else but at least there is WiFi and I also find a plug so I can charge my phone for a few minutes.
Nico calls just as I finish eating and says the paperwork is ready! I hurry back and sign "the book". They have ledgers in many offices and you sign your name to acknowledge whatever document you are picking up. We leave with Hamilton's new birth certificate. I believe what we did was register it although I'm not entirely sure.
We are done and off again.
We go back over the river to the left bank and arrive at the office to change Hamilton's ID number, to update it with the new, correct information. There are 11 windows but not a single person behind one at the counter. A lady comes out and tells us it is lunchtime and we will have to wait. Nico begins filling out the form while we wait.
My phone is at 20% again. I find a plug. Nico is a bit irritated and says he's never seen everyone at lunch all at the same time.
Apparently lunch is over. Although there is quite the group of people waiting who all rush towards the window, he casually walks up, says something to them and they step back to allow him to go first. It takes only a minute but he tells me to wait and he walks out. I think he is going to make copies.
I didn't see him come back in, but he is back at the window. After a minute or so he calls me up and I sign "the book". We are done and head to the car. Now we will go to Boyarka.
We arrive in Boyarka. I wait in the car while he goes in and they prepare paperwork for me to sign.
He comes back telling me they need 40 minutes to an hour and we will go drink coffee and eat some pancakes. We drive to a place around the corner that another family showed him recently. It smells heavenly! I may not be able to eat bread but I still thoroughly enjoy the delightful aroma of baking bread and fresh pastries.
We are back at the office waiting for documents for me to sign. His sister calls and despite my understanding of Russian being at about a -5, I realize they are talking about the separatists in the east and the end of the cease fire. There have been more deaths. We talk in depth about the situation and he has a very interesting perspective. He explained that Crimea and the two current areas of unrest all have substantial natural gas deposits. Currently Ukraine is dependent upon Russia for natural gas and about 30% of Europe's natural gas also comes for Russia. If Ukraine became self sufficient and began supplying Europe with natural gas, it would cost Russia's government run energy company 40 billion dollars a year. Makes you wonder...
We go inside to wait, seeking the air condition.
She comes out to get us. I again sign "the book", a document and after she makes a copy of the birth certificate, we thank her and we are off again. We head to the next town over, back towards Kyiv, to the tax office to change the baby's tax Id information.
We arrive and he says I should come in. That's a good sign! He shows the woman at the counter the necessary documents and takes a form from her to completed. After he hands in back in we wait a little longer and then it's time for me to sign "the book" again.
Done! Wish I could have taken a pic of Niko's happy dance he did for me. "I've got to have faith" is playing on the radio as we crank the car.
Nico dropped me off at the cluster of restaurants by my apartment and I popped in the pizza place to get something to go. They have the best salad EVER! So fresh! Tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers and red peppers sprinkled with oregano. The feta here is just amazing! It's creamy and soft and so flavorful!