“The moment we care for anything deeply, the world – that is, all the other miscellaneous interests – becomes our enemy.”

G.K. Chesterton, Heretics, 1905

In fact, Bogdan was busy making his own plans while I was at the embassy. While he had no legal training, he had taken quite a shine to the district judge whom we had met at the law courts and he, for his part, seemed more than willing to talk about adoption.

After I left the Vice Consul’s office, Bogdan and I met up and he told me of his plans.

“That judge says that I can present an application to adopt the child on your behalf. He says that if the mother agrees, I can make an application for a Romanian adoption order, provided I have the permission of both you and your wife to take the case on your behalf.”


“Look, I already have the mother’s agreement. All I need to do is to bring her to the court and make an application before the judges for an order, and, how do you say,  ‘Bingo’, I can get an order. We don’t need the president’s signature or anything like that – we’ll have an adoption order.”

“But how do you know what to say or what to ask for? There are probably forms to complete and applications to lodge at the court.”

“That’s no problem. That judge really does want to help, and he has promised to guide me through the procedure.”

What an extraordinary twist. On the one hand, the town hall had effectively brought the shutters down, and the president was no longer in a position to sign off any form of adoption declaration in the way the Marriotts had suggested. Yet, as Bogdan had said, when we couldn’t get in the door we would climb through the window, and this particular window seemed to lead us to an apparently uncomplicated legal process. It didn’t overcome the problem that an English court would not recognise a Romanian adoption, but at least it would be a start, and Bogdan seemed so enthused with the idea that it seemed churlish to suggest that there might be any difficulty.

I told him of my meeting with the Vice Consul and that I was going to have to go back to England.

“That’s no problem. Make sure that you and Carmel give me your power of attorney, and I’ll start the adoption process while you are over there. To keep him on our side, I’ve promised the judge that I will pass him the Adoption Act that you discussed with him, even though that won’t do much for our own application – the only problem is how we actually get a copy.”

“Ah, I reckon we can use that wonderful invention, the fax machine,” I said.

“But where are we going to find one?”

“I think I’ll ask the British embassy if I can pass it through their fax machine as a gesture of co-operation with the Romanian people.”

“Wow. Do you reckon they’ll wear that?”

“I have my doubts, but on the other hand, it’s no skin off their nose.”

So, knowing that I had to return to England, we decided that I would take the next plane out, and I would batter away at the British authorities while Bogdan would go about his business as our advocate in the Bucharest law courts. And I would fax him a power of attorney signed by both Carmel and me, as soon as I got home.


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