Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 13, 2009

Today was pre-court. It was easy. Our driver took us to a non-descript building which was central processing for all sorts of legal matters; civil, criminal, adoption affairs. We were waiting a bit for our lawyer to arrive. Once he arrived we exchanged pleasantries and then went upstairs to the judge’s office. We walked in and sat in front of the judge. We had to stand and give our names. There was a doctor there from the baby house and she was seated at a side table. The judge asked a few questions to the lawyer and Julia and that was it. The judge wasn’t very happy that Irina had citizenship in the US but we guess it was lost in translation that she still has her Kaz citizenship as well. We think Wednesday will be more interesting. We’ve been assured that the prosecutor, lawyer, doctor, and judge do most of the talking. We have to make quick speeches (about 3 minutes) about how we love Nate and can’t wait to bring him home and give him the same types of things we’ve given Irina. But we’ll also talk about how it’s really that Irina has given us so many things to be happy about. We went home and changed before going to the baby house so we were about 15 minutes late for our morning session.
When we got to the room, Nate was sitting on the potty. Yes, on a potty. Interestingly, the kids, after they are fed, are strapped down to a potty. Some kids go, others don’t. Nate appeared to be a little distressed and had some tears on his face; this is the first time we’ve seen him upset. He didn’t have anything going on so we took him off. It was actually funny to see him on there. It was odd because his diapers disappear quite quickly although apparently he isn’t always put in them as we witnessed today. It is probably easier for the caregivers to strap them down to the potties but we would really prefer that he wears the diapers we’ve bought for him. Several of the babies on the potties were upset and we were wondering if breakfast did not sit right with them. We changed Nathaniel and took him out to the adjacent room to roll around on the floor. He has a bad cough and it seems all the kids in the room are coming down with a cough, cold, or both. When the doctor came up, she listened to him and wasn’t happy that he was sick again as he just got better. She prescribed another breathing treatment for him today which he received at the end of the session with the music teacher. The music teacher had some new toys which she sang to today. It was great to see the reactions of the kids, especially Nate. He really loves the music teacher and was zooming around in the walker during her lesson. After Nate’s breathing treatment, he seemed to be breathing easier which was good. As we were packing up, a nurse brought in a new baby to the room. He was very big and we asked how old. He’s 6 months. He’s going to be a big, big boy. His whole body is solid and his hands are huge for a six month old.

Before going to lunch today, we stopped by a book store. Julia recommended the store to us because we were able to buy books in English, Kazakh, and Russian. We’re going to keep them for when the kids get older as a reminder of where they came from and to understand their heritage. Lunch was good and we all ate yummy desserts.

We (the Americans) felt breakfast was bad for the kids. After eating, all the kids were crying and not looking like they enjoyed it too much. We could tell by the odor of the recycling going on at lunch time that there was something NQR (not quite right) with the food served at breakfast. Thankfully, lunch was a regular meal of beef and potatoes. Of course Nate loves that and who wouldn’t. It smells delicious and doesn’t look half bad. After feeding Nate, we moved back to the room and played with the other adopting family and their son for a bit. Nathaniel was pretty content to be held this morning and this afternoon. He did quite a bit of inching around on the carpet to get some of the other family’s toys and we saw him crawl about 2 times. Kev took a peek in at the kids and noticed the new kid figured out how to lift himself out of the walker. Some walkers have a bar which goes across the tray, probably once holding toys. Well, the new kid pulled himself up with the bar and then stepped on the frame. A caregiver noticed what he was doing and promptly settled him back down into the walker. Later on, we saw a girl who never has done much standing up with the new guy. She’s always seemed to be in a shell or her own world. Well the new guy seems to have broken that. Normally when we try to interact with her, we can barely get a smile. Laura was watching her as she pulled herself up to walk with the new boy in his walker. It was very cool to see and she was smiling. We also heard a loud thump and noticed another girl had fallen through and out of her walker. They aren’t in the best condition and when we put Nate in one, we have to give it a look to see if it’s okay to use. It wasn’t a pretty site but she was just shaken and no damage done. All the kids seemed to be having fun cruising around in the walkers. It was a pretty good afternoon and before we knew it, we had to leave.

When we got back to our apartment, we found out we won’t be flying back on Wednesday. Who knew that Air Astana doesn’t fly to Almaty on WED and THURS?!? We were really hoping to leave on Wednesday night (court is scheduled for 3:00 on Wednesday) so that we would arrive home on Thursday. That would give us the weekend to settle back into our normal routine before going back to school and work on Monday. We are also starting to go into dog withdrawal and are eager to get Gabby home from the kennel. Our choice is to drive about 3 hours to Astana by a driver and then catch a flight to Almaty from there or wait until Friday night and then fly to Almaty to catch our originally scheduled flight home. It is just easier to fly to Almaty so we’ll have to wait it out. Al least we’ll get some more time with Nathaniel.

Going for a walk in the evenings really helps to pass the time. So we got a list of things we need to leave for Nate and walked over to a baby store near our apartment. We got most of the stuff on our list and think we have the last remaining items already. It was funny buying tights for a little boy (we found some with race cars on them). We are happy that we get to spend some more time with him before we leave. We’ll also make a surprise appearance to our “English” class as we told them we were going to leave on Wednesday. We’re going to bring them some Belgian chocolate that we brought with us to give as gifts. We hope they enjoy the chocolate. Rumor is that we’re to get snow on Wednesday (2”+) and Thursday (3-6”). Maybe Nate will need to wear those tights under his pants. We’ll keep you posted. So much for the Spring being here…..

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