Copyright Our Kazakh Angel
AMLP Productions 2005-2007
April 18, 2007
Well the day had finally come. We get to meet our newest addition. We got into Arkalyk about 7:30 a.m. it was cloudy and about 40 degrees (ABOVE zero thank God!) I saw Khabiba walking to the train off in the distance, she had back surgery a short while ago and she used a cane. We hugged; it was so good to see her again. She felt like family. Marie said that it didn’t feel the same being back until she got off the train and smelled the air and she knew she was back at her “second home” again. It was strange walking into the orphanage again; it didn’t quite feel the same as before. I didn’t think it would though. We pulled up through the back way as we have always entered. The mud was everywhere. Before it was warm and dry, quite a difference. The playground that I remembered was full of blooming trees, children and warm breezes. This time it was cold and felt abandoned (at least for the season anyways), but I could blink and see or recall any day I wanted in an instant.
We walked in and were greeted by several care-givers who looked happy to see us again. We then went to meet with the social worker and Alpena (the director) we hugged; she smiled from ear to ear and appeared genuinely happy to see us.
After a few minutes of showing some pictures, she said, we must want to meet Almira. Off to the music room we went. The smells haven’t changed one bit, but is was so surreal and comforting. It immediately brought back those feelings of meeting Gianna for the first time. Yes, I started to well up a bit. Albina came back into the room with Almira and I just looked for a moment. I knew her like the back of my hand, so much waiting to meet her.
She looked so different to me, more beautiful than I had ever imagined. The look on her face brought me to tears. I expected her to be bigger than she was. She was thinner and taller but about the size of Gianna today. She walked up to Marie and Albina told her this was her “momma and poppa”. It was never really done before but they had been telling her we were coming to get her. She didn’t look scared but interested. Marie grabbed her hand and hugged her. She smiled. I remember Gianna being so different; she was so shy and scared.
Almost immediately she began interacting with us. It was something to see her open up to us so quickly. She liked the small things we brought for her. We started to play with a ball and she laughed and laughed. I could tell she is quite a character. The other couple that has been her had nothing but good things to say about her.
The afternoon visit went just as well, we thought as first she was scared when we walked in but she was just getting dressed to see us. She came right to us and we played for the afternoon.
One Happy Day.. More to come!