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Copyright Our Kazakh Angel 2005
Paka paka, Bye bye, Hasta-lavista, chow, sionara, see ya, so long, later, we’re otta here…“Parting is such sweet sorrow” All of these parting words were going through my head all morning as we drove to the baby house to bring Gianna home. Today was the day I was to “rescue” my daughter, but it wasn’t like that, it was quite a somber morning. We went upstairs to get her, when we walked in, no one was to be found. We went downstairs and Gianna and Katya came out of a room all dressed in what appeared to be new clothes. The other kids went for a walk and started to come back at this time.

We followed them upstairs as Gianna had small M & M filled figurines for all of her brothers and sisters. As we walked by, a few caregivers would come up and say goodbye to Gianna and kiss her. We were in the music room (for the last time!) and the kids came in from outside. The caregivers lined them up and as Marie was shaking trying to hurry up and dress Gianna in her new outfit, the caregiver said to them that Gianna was going with her parents and they would never see her again. They said something to them again and they all started to clap. Gianna just stood there smiling as if she was soaking it all in.
We were walking out and her two main caregivers hugged and kissed her and began to cry. They were giving up one of their daughters and it made me realize what they must go through everytime a child leaves. We hugged them, said our thank you’s and good-bye’s, all of us in tears. We gained a daughter this day and they gave one up. As we left the building I couldn’t help but wonder if she would like her new life, how she would get along with us, if she would just throw fits of rage and disappointment, I didn’t know what to think at this point. I soon had a small sign of the possible answers to my earlier thoughts. We walked to the car, Gianna as if in a hurry to get out of there, climbed right in. You hear stories of children crying all the way to the airport and beyond… She sat on Marie’s lap on the ride home (of course no seat belt or car seat, what a worry) she looked at all of the things going by with a smile on her face. We stopped at the house. She almost bolted out of the car and walked quite fast to the door as I was walking backward filming the entire trip. She came inside with such a stance as if to say, “I am here now” we went upstairs to prepare for her first luncheon…
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad”…
June 13, 2005 Day 4 of our mandatory wait...
Gianna walked in Habiba’s house with absolutely no reservations. The director, Albena decided it was okay for Katya (Gene & Lisa’s soon to be daughter) to get out for the day to join us. Gianna was so comfortable with us, I remembered one day in the beginning she actual hid behind a couch from us.

Habiba set a children’s table Kazakh style (a table about 2 feet off the ground) while we joined Dr. Marina, Albena, (Director) Rose (social worker) Habiba (coordinator) Gene, Lisa, Bill and I. It would be the first time we would really see her eat a meal. By nature, orphans have a sensational appetite after they leave the orphanage, Gianna is no exception. She can eat a whole banana in about 2 seconds flat. Everything went very nice. Of course the vodka flowed and we all toasted to Gianna and Katya’s future. Even a toast was made that may both our countries live in peace and may none of our children see war, (Kazakhstan is currently serving a long side us in Iraq).
After lunch we got to do what we had been so looking forward to, giving her a bath! I think she has needed one since we first got here. I don’t think she has ever been in a tub before. But when she saw it filling up she almost flipped! She loved laughing the whole time even when she slipped backward she came up laughing historically. No problem washing her hair, it all went so good. We brought her to our room and lotioned her up, we dressed her in new cloths and put a pull up on her (she probably never wore a diaper, it’s so strange) but I want her to have some of the baby comforts she has missed out on. We sat and really cried, this feeling that came over us that was unbelievable as we dressed her and laid her in a soft clean comfortable bed smelling good! She rolled around a little while she kept a close eye on us and fell asleep. I can never describe the feeling we had. All I good think of was the refrain from church “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad”. As we watched her sleep, there was never this feeling through all of this that, yes, we were adopting, but in reality, we were giving a little Angel a life she may have never known. The right of all children, that they should be entitled to have a good home and the love of parents.
When she woke up after her first nap, we put her in our bed for a while. She kept rolling from Bill to me making sure we both were still there for her. Later, Habiba asked her if she wanted to go back to Albena’s (that’s what they call the baby house) she said NO! Even when Aidar, (Habiba’s husband) asked her where Momma and Poppa were, she pointed to us then he asked if she wanted to go back she said no and almost started to cry. The whole evening she has clung to us always on one of our laps. It was so cute when we got her dressed she ran around a little in her jamies laughing so hard. It’s so awesome that it feels free and can be so spontaneous and again be the person she was born to be! We are so amazed with her response to how sure she is with all this. She may still experience some grieving in the future but by today’s actions it’ hard to believe it will be bad.
Marie Paka Paka!
Sorry, due to an earlier storm and static on the lines we could not post sooner...
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