Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15, 2009

It was an emotional day today. We knew that it was going to be just a morning session today. Nate was still not feeling well and had an awful cough and runny rose. We fed him breakfast and then tried to keep him entertained and as comfortable as we could. He was very happy during music class. He really enjoys the music. He really loves to see the props that the music teacher brings. When the massage doctor, Lala, came through our little play area, we asked her to take a picture with Nate (again). Apparently she does not like to take pics because she doesn't like the way she looks in pictures. Kevin was trying to get her to give him a massage instead. She thought he was joking but the translator assured her that he was not. She instructed Irina on how to walk on his back. She really enjoys interacting with Irina. Several of the other babies appeared to still have colds today. We left the gifts for the caregivers in Nate's room. We had to leave early so that we could get to Irina's baby house by 12.

Driving to Irina's baby house was like a flashback to four years ago. There were some new buildings but it was pretty much the same. Irina was ecstatic (one of her new words from Fancy Nancy) and talked about it all morning to the translators. It was an emotional experience for us! While we were waiting for our facilitator, Kevin saw a lady come out of the room Irina was in and immediately recognized her. She is in the picture we have of Irina and her caregivers. We first went to the director's office, who was very eager to meet Irina again. We showed her the scrapbook we brought of Irina over the years and she truly enjoyed looking through it and hearing about Irina. Then we went back downstairs to her baby room, which did not change at all. There were only a few babies in her room We have some "before and after" pictures: Irina standing next to her old crib and Irina sitting in Kevin's lap in the same chair he was holding her in in one of the pictures from the scrapbook. The ladies were amazed by Irina. The playroom we used to spend our days in was changed around, as was another playroom used by families from another agency. What surprised us the most when we were here four years ago was just how spotless and clean that baby house was. That had not changed and there is definitely a difference in that aspect between the two baby houses. Irina was very curious while we were there and just looked around during our little tour.

At the end of our visit to her baby house, we found out that our court date had changed. One of the social workers was sick and could not attend court this afternoon. Court was rescheduled for 9:30 AM tomorrow. So, once again our travel plans had to be adjusted. Our final plans for tomorrow are having court at 9:30 AM, going back to our apartment to change, and then we'll be picked up by a driver who will take us to Astana (a 3 hour drive). We will fly from Astana to Almaty at 5:20 PM and arrive in Almaty about 2 hours later. A facilitator who we worked with before, Lola, will meet us at the airport and take us to a hotel so that we can relax until our flight to Frankfurt which leaves at 3:15 AM on Friday morning. We'll have a short layover in Frankfurt before flying home to Brussels. It's going to be a long day!

We went back to our apartment for a quick lunch and then went back to visit Nate for the afternoon session. He was happy to see his family. He coughed and sneezed a bit and wanted to be held. He crawled around for awhile and enjoyed playing with Irina. It is so cute to watch them together. Two new babies moved in from another room. They are twin sisters but do not look alike. We had a very unique opportunity for this baby house-all of the caregivers were there for a meaning and we got a picture of Nathaniel with all his caregivers. That rarely happens here.
It was very sad to say "see you later" to him at the end of the session and we were all in tears. We donated some clothes and diapers to the room. Hopefully these next few weeks will go by quickly!!!!!!!

We did some last minute shopping and developed some pictures, as requested by the caregivers. Then we went to dinner and bought some last minute groceries (chocolate to bring home-to Belgium of all places!). There is a chocolate bar that we (okay, mostly Laura) are addicted to. Now we are off to give his backpack to someone so that he'll have his travel bag to meet us in Almaty. Au revoir, Karanganda!

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