Friday, November 16, 2007
When Pasha arrives to pick me up, I need to be READY! So, I wait at the kitchen window and watch for him. When I see the van pull in to the apartment area ... I see him flash his van lights at me. I then scurry around to be at the door waiting for his 5 knocks. Now ... this isn't so easy when you have a baby boy who is demanding your attention. For two days now, I have found the trick! I start the washing machine and put Noah in front of it. He is mesmerized by the clothes spinning ... until the ride comes! I'm learning all the little parenting ploys! Ha!
This evening, our van ... loaded down with gifts for the caretakers, orphanage director, and orphanage doctor ... and our three new families (with children stuffed in snow suits) headed back to the orphanage. I wondered what the babies would think when they saw familiar sights and smelled familiar smells. They didn't seem to be fazed.
We met with the director and presented our gifts. Our interpreter, Katya, was with us tonight and she read the cards of thanks that we had written to the director. He graciously accepted the gifts and also the extra "orphanage donations" the families gave to him. He then spoke to us through Katya. He told us many things ... but what stuck out in my mind the most was ... "You are very friendly people and your children are very happy. You are a perfect fit." He also said, "Come back and get brothers and sisters for your children." We gave him hugs and let him know that we would never, ever forget him, the caretakers, and our time here.
As we left his office, some of the caretakers happened to see us and they were soooooo happy! They absolutely LOVE THE BABIES!! Oh ... they showered our children with kisses and ooooohed and aaaaahed. So, we had pictures made with them per their request! They asked us to bring copies to them before we leave ... which we will do.
Olga and Larissa met up with us as we were leaving and told us that the passports for our babies did NOT arrive today as expected. We will still fly to Almaty on Sunday ... but we may be home later than we had hoped. The US Embassy is closed for the Thanksgiving holidays so now ... my trip may be extended up to a week longer than I had thought. Oh well ... It's important to always be flexible while here!
Tonight ... we had a PARTY! We had pizzas brought to my apartment. Joanie, Derick and Shannon, The Conley family (who arrived a few days ago), and Theresa all came. Of course, we also had Noah, Asher, and Hayden there!! I had been saving TWO bottles of wine for the crew and we finally enjoyed them tonight! Shannon, Derick, and Joanie were the first to arrive and we thought it was fitting to open the bottle of Caymus and have a special toast among the four of us. Even with the babies demanding our attention ... and the slight uncomfortableness of trying to relax in this sparse Semey apartment ... there was an "understood" appreciation between the four of us ... that we were stealing this moment ... as we raised our glasses... to celebrate this incredible experience that we have shared.