All three of us go to court this Friday, the 11th. Joanie at 9:30, Derick and Shannon at 11:30 and I go at 12:30!! Larissa told me today that I have a very good judge! Larissa and Olga will spend 1 1/2 hours with me Thursday evening listening to my speech and helping me make adjustments to it. They will make sure I am very prepared. I have to do my part of course. I've written about 1/3 of my speech and tonight I will finish it. I am soooooooooo very, very, very excited to have court at the end of this week!!! I would like to ask all of my friends and family to put this near the top of your prayer list. If all goes perfectly, I could have Noah by Saturday ... mother and son ... mother and son ... WOW ... sounds amazing.
I keep a picture of me and my mother next to the computer here. As of this morning, I felt led to start carrying it in my purse during the day also. I am also going to take it to court with me and lay it out in front of me where I can see her. I've had many a moment here at this apartment when I've paused to remember her ... her complete joy over this adoption ... and her determination to make this trip with me. I imagine her holding Noah and making him laugh. I imagine our sharing tears of joy and a long, warm embrace when the judge renders a positive decision. I think about these things ... and I miss her so very, very much.
I'm including two pictures that show a couple of FIRSTS ... in one, Noah is smiling really big and you can see his first two teeth (which I was here to see cut through!!!)and in the other picture, you will see him up on all fours. Today, we all hooped and hollered in the bonding room when Noah did his first crawl! Granted it was only one knee forward and then the other knee forward ... working of course in unison with his hands ... and yes, he followed it with his usual body lunge forward ... BUT, I SAW A CRAWL!! YES I DID! AND IT COUNTS!!!
Today, Larissa ... the interpreter ... seemed so happy to pose with Noah. Larissa took the time to tell me about some Kazakh traditions. One tradition that I love is that once a Kazakh baby begins to take his first steps, the family has a HUGE celebration! Family and friends come. A white pathway is laid out. The child's legs are tied together with white ribbon. The parent chooses one person who will be the child's mentor and biggest influence ... someone who will model success and will help guide the child's steps in life. This person stands behind the child and cuts the ribbon and everyone watches as the child walks the path.
I want everyone to know that I've already started the piano lessons with Noah. His little hands look mighty comfortable on the keyboard. I figure once he watches Uncle Wayne tear it up on the keyboard, he'll be inspired to play ...
Teresa ... from South Carolina ... and her mother, Donna ... arrived yesterday. I met them today for the first time. Teresa is beginning her bonding with a 9 month old Russian baby named Yuri. It took them 36 hours to get here and upon landing had to go straight to the orphanage! Today, Teresa looked like she was ready to collapse. I remember the feeling so well. I'm including their picture.
I am the only person (family) here that is fortunate enough to have high speed internet in the apartment! It has been a source of joy for me! Here is my little desk where I do all my communicating ... this is my "LIFELINE."