Thursday, 31 May 2007

Lessons in Lithuanian

Most gratifying to see that tvc hasn't been run off the road yet on the Highway of Death between Prague and Brno, although that probably has more to do with the fact that he's in Vilnius as we speak. I was just thinking of you, mate, as I monitored the excrutiatingly slow rise in my share portfolio. I've only got one share holding as a result of my insurance company turning itself into a building society about 10 years ago, only to see my 199 shares crash from NZ$25 each to about $3 back in 2003. I'm in for the long haul I thought. Now, though, I'm having to weigh up the possibility of cashing in sooner rather than later to fund these potential adoption proceedings. Hence the reference to speaking Lithuanian.

Yes, as bizarre as it seems, Lithuania seems to be the best bet for us, but at a huge financial cost. Russia would have been better, but apparently they recently cancelled the Hague Convention protocol with us. A Kiwi adoption intermediary, Inter-Country Adoption New Zealand (ICANZ - not to be confused with the world famous Institute of Chartered Accountants NZ, which required a multi-million dollar rebranding exercise), is trying to get po-rusky accreditation, but so far Vlad the Regaler hasn't issued the necessary royal decree.

I say the best bet because the other possibilities don't appear that attractive. The Chinese require you to have a clean bill of mental health (rules out 90% of the world's population for a start), the Phillipinos expect you to be a good church-going Catholic and be ready to accept a severely handicapped child, the Chileans don't put up that many children for adoption, and the Thais also use the adoption process for physical and moral cleansing purposes. The only obstacle posed by the Lithuanians on the other hand, is the requirement that you take on groups of siblings - mostly three at a time, which is fine by us. Instant Family Deluxe. And of course it helps that one of us is a co-Slav and the other is a Slavophile. And it's close to a country very near to the heart of one of us. The cost is thought to be in the range of NZ$10k-NZ$15k. Just as well then that I get paid stupid money for administering to sweet Fanny Adams.

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