June 7, 2005 and June 8, 2005 Day 13 & 14

Today, Aidana was just a totally different girl, as if she actually had a shell around her in the past and she broke out of it today. It usually takes her being around all of her “brothers and sisters” for her to laugh out loud, smile and hug us. Today we were up in the music room and she was just happy as a clam, laughing, playing and responding to us very affectionately. It was great. We actually see her as being a normal, carefree child around us for the first time without outside stimulants.

Marie often sneaks off with Aidana down the halls to see the “le-le’s” (babys) Aidana is quite the caregiver, placing the pacifiers back in their mouths, caressing their faces and Marie, picking them up when they are crying. I know they may frown upon too much contact with the older kids as this may make them sad that they are not being adopted but with the babies, I think they are not so worried about this. Marie, in the wink of an eye, would pack them all up for America if they let her.

Aidana was even better in the yard in the afternoon visit. All of the kids are just great to be around.
Okay, probably one of the worst things to deal with in Kazakhstan is that in the winters there is ice and snow all over but in spring and summer, forget about getting a single ice cube for your drink. Not one to be found. Everything is drank room temperature here, beer, pop, water. I have had it. Those who know me know my drinks at home are 80% ice. I am dying. UNTIL, I thought, there is a freezer downstairs. We took little zip-lock bags that Gene and Lisa have and we made “ice-bricks” I asked to put these in the freezer and it was okay, they then made my day by going in the drawer and pulling out an un-opened ice cube tray that makes about 20 small cubes. I raised my hands to Habiba’s mother-in-law as if to praise her as a god and I thought cold drinks in about 2 hours. She looked at us as if we had found gold. I was in my glory! Gene likes an occasional cold beer after supper. Needless to say, the short walk to the small store down the street has become our evening ritual. Gene and Maire also found instant coffee there as tea is the norm here. They were ecstatic. I have found a little bit of home in that ice cold glass of lemonade I now enjoy!
We were sitting out in front of Habiba’s house after supper and the neighbor called Aidar over, Habiba looked to see what was wrong and said “ooohhh, our neighbor has goats like us”. She then said, “oh no, those are our goats! They were grazing on the neighbor’s new lawn and greens. We had such a laugh, I guess you had to be there. Habiba can be quite the jokester, I don’t think I have been influencing her, she seems to have been like this before we arrived.
We have been going back and forth on the emotional roller coaster all day as the judge wanted a more recent document (petition) from the birth mother releasing her rights to Aidana even though they have one from her birth. This is becoming more frequent in the whole county from what I understand. They have tracked her down and she was quiet as they explained things to her. She then wrote a “petition” that she was okay with giving her up. We have been on pins and needles worrying about this all afternoon but the social worker and orphanage director have reassured us that this should not be a problem. The judge does want the mother to come to court and say this on record for the prosecutor so there is no mistake. I think all of the parties involved want to have all of the “bases covered” in case they are reviewed in the future.

It is natural for us to think the worst could happen, who wouldn’t. This is just like a roller coaster ride with the ups and downs of our emotions. I think, sometimes Habiba just wants us to know about any extreme possibilities so that we would not be in complete shock if the worst were to happen. She worries about us so much, it is a wonder she does not have an ulcer yet. I was more worried yesterday than today, I just want court to be over on Thursday and take Aidana home (to Habiba's house) Friday morning. We plan on having a small cake for the caregivers on Friday. I half joked with Habiba that I would either be eating it or throwing it.

We will still have the mandatory 15 day waiting period after the court decision but I think if the birth mother doesn’t object before court, she will not during this time, but this is Kazakhstan, anything could happen. We just have to pray and stay on pins and needles until we are actually see Almaty through the window of our jet at 35,000 feet with our daughter on our lap. I’m thinking of renting a private jet to get us home faster!

I figure that some people may say that we may have missed out on the “birthing labor” of having Aidana, as she is adopted. But, we have both been through the “natural” process of having children and if you think we have not gone through our own highly stressed “labor pains” over the past 10 months with this whole process, you should try it one day! Though, to this day have not one regret. I take that back, It would have been nice to have the whole family here with us during this bonding period.

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More tea please...
Hey, move it over buddy
Ahhh... ICE!
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