April 19

Our first day of bonding Yeah!!!!

We woke this morning to the sun shining in Arkalyk and the temperature around 50. A lot of the mud is starting to dry so we are actually walking and not sliding all the way to the baby house.

We have discovered the oddest thing about adopting; some how God has always given us an insight on these kids. Gianna turned out to be for the most part, exactly like I felt she would be based only from a picture we had. With Elmira, let me start from the beginning. Way back from when we were here 2 years ago, while playing in the yard, Bill was filming the kids. He turned to the younger group and there was Elmira shy and afraid but curious. So she got up a little nerve and came a little closer to us. As soon as she saw Bill with the video camera she picked up an old box and put it to her face and pretended to film Bill. Well that stole Billís heart right then and there.

I will tell you this, God knew exactly what he was doing when he had Elmira cross Billís path. With all the problems, setbacks and delays we encountered it was Billís defiance and aggressiveness (he can be a pain in the butt) that made it all finally happen. Two years later, that little girl still has something for Bill. While we were visiting her today she would take a toy out of our bag and go sit on Billís lap to play with it.

Bonding is very different with Elmira then Gianna. I think itís got to do with her age. She has taken to us immediately (sometimes that can be an attachment problem) I donít think so in this case, because lately she has been around a few American families in the bonding process and has been patently waiting her turn. She was told back in January that we were coming and would talk about it all of the time. I think itís more that she is very ready and anxious to have a momma and poppa. Itís very rewarding and feels so good that she really likes us. Itís funny because there is love and there is real love. I remember back with Gianna of course, I loved her sight unseen literally, but itís really in the first few months that she was home that I actually fell in live with them. With Elmira, she just likes the attention and loves to be held and kissed, she doesnít even mind me smothering her with it. She has the cutest little giggle and a deep voice but not the deep baritone one like Giannaís.

Well, I have to go we are waiting for Habiba to come over and talk some business. We just love her and she is so funny, we heard her say today (in her KGB tone) donít answer the phone unless itís me! You know, that will probably just work around here. By the way, if any of you hear about the cosmonauts landing give us a heads up because they land only about 20-40 miles from us in Arkalyk and they say we would be the last to know. We have also heard that some here believe they can tell when itís going to land because it gives them a sore throat an others say it changes the weather. Thatís Arkalyk!

I donít know if itís the jet lag or because itís the second time around but we love this place. Oh wait; I know what it isÖ itís only been 2 days.

Paka
Marie

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