December 17 2003

Here is a story from yesterday we both forgot to put up.  The police cars are as big as a Ford Fiesta.  While we were walking around with Jim and Suzanne, we saw a Kazak speed trap.  There were 3 officers, 2 packed in the car and one standing in front of it.  The radar gun was on the hood of the car.  We saw him pick up the radar gun for a second, lay it back on the hood, step in to the road and wave the motorist over to the side.  I am not sure if he actually took the speed of the car or just thought the guy was driving too fast.  I can tell you that he had 3 cars pulled over when we were walking by and all 3 were late model, unusual, nice cars.  I am not sure how traffic court works here, I believe it has an optional payment system.  Pay as you go!  The Ford Fiesta's are the funniest looking police cars I have ever seen in real life.

A Kazak pig says "h'dru h'dru". Olga and Natasha laugh every time we do it.  I know this was the burning question on everybody's mind.  The only animals that make the exact same noise in Kazak and English are the cat and cow.  I do not remember how the other animals sound.  As we find out we will post them.

Our morning was a little strange.  Anthony was sleeping when we got there so he did not come to the play room until about 10:30ish.  Katherine looked as if she had been crying again. Not sure why or what was going on.

She is very regimented. Wake up, pee, snack, relax, pee, play.  There are some great shots of her eating a snack with us.  She loves the oranges and yogurt.  She wears the yogurt well.  We walked the halls a lot this morning. She seems to really like doing that. I had taken her down to use the toilet and the caregiver gave me the run down of Katherine's afternoon yesterday. As you recall, we only had one visit yesterday.

This is the translation from the caregivers Kazak to my English.  Katherine sat at the window of the door crying saying PaPa and MaMa.  After a while she took one of the chairs to the outside window and sat and stared out the window looking for us.  Talk about break your heart.  I think she is really getting used to us being there.  I did not get the entire story because my Kazak, what Kazak, is not good at all.

Even though Katherine seemed a bit down this morning, we had a great time. I had her laughing and giggling pretty good.  She also seems to be warming up to Olga and Natasha. The first couple of days Katherine would just stare at them and do nothing. Today she actually crawled up on Olga's lap.  Breakthrough for Katherine.  I am sure that as time goes on, she will only become warmer as she discovers just how wonderful hugs, kisses and snuggles are.

Anthony is so funny. The caregiver brought him down to the room. He looked like he was not really awake yet, still in a fog.  I just held him close and loved him up until he was ready to start cruising around the room.  We actually spent some time in the ball pit. He was just all smiles.  He knows that is where all the older kids get to play.  Like I said before, He really wants to do what they are doing.  There is a basin filled with kid sized bowling pins.  He laid on the floor and picked them out of the bin one at a time. I said to Ann, "He will soon realize that he can dump the entire basket and have them all out a lot quicker".  He seems to be brightening up with every visit we have. He definitely warms my heart every time we visit with him.  I am so looking forward to getting him in our arms 100%.

Some have asked about our court date.  We are supposed to go to court on Christmas eve. If all goes according to plan, we will have a tea party on Christmas day and then bring Katherine and Anthony back to the apartment to finish out our legal waiting period.  We will keep you up to date on that as it happens.

We had lunch with another family visiting their child. We went to Bon Appetit.  Yes, it's really Bon Appetit.  However, I'm not sure the food is the same.  I had some sort of outstanding Korean soup.  I only know it is Korean because Natasha (our driver) is Korean and she was with us and she told me it was Korean.  In any event, it was enough for a meal, but I ate more. I also ordered some sort of chicken with cheese and mushrooms on top.  Bill had the same thing.  You all know how squeamish Bill is about meat. He ate it, but tried not to look at what he was eating.  After that we searched for a new I-Card to make more phone calls and connect to the Internet.  I bought Katherine a headband with some funny looking animals sticking out the top.  There are some pictures of us with the headband on.  She was truly not interested in it. 

I also have to say she is not interested in stuffed animals.  I had purchased a stuffed dog in the states. It is soft and cuddly and she ignores it like it has the plague. Oh Well.

Before we picked up the kids, we had to sign some documents for court. It was really the petition to the court for us to adopt Katherine and Anthony and to change their names.  It said things like we always wanted a large family and circumstances prevented us from that and so we decided to adopt. That we would take care of the children's medical needs and that we already consider them our own and couldn't imagine our lives without them.  Of course Olga had to translate everything because it was all in Russian.  For all we know we could have signed over the deed to our house today.  Good thing we trust Olga.

We picked up Katherine and Anthony and went to the playroom. It was snack time for us.  We are trying to get Katherine to share food with us. She definitely has the hoard mentality. Today for the first time she willingly shared some carrot with Daddy. What a breakthrough.  She certainly only does that when she wants to, but it was a start.

After snack it's time to go downstairs to the chamber pot.  We brought some pictures we had taken of the children and one of the caregivers.  That particular caregiver was there again today and she asked if the pictures were for her personally or for the room.  We said she could have them. We can always reprint the pictures for the room.  We took more pictures of the room and of another care giver.  They were having snack when we went downstairs, so Katherine double dipped on the eats.

Each time Bill and I take her up the stairs, we say Up!.  We also point out Door and Wall pretty frequently. She can say Up very recognizably.  Door and Wall she can say but you wouldn't know it unless you'd done the routine with her a hundred times.

Katherine and I took our trip outside hoping to find some birds to feed. Because we signed papers and hung out in her room we were a little late and all the birds were sleeping. We did see several dogs and that was very exciting.  Soon she will be Ruff Ruffing with confidence. By the way a dog goes Gwuff in Russian.

Have I mentioned how awesome Anthony is? He has just blossomed before our eyes. He took the tiniest unassisted step today. He's more confident just holding one finger. It will be very soon.  Bill was holding him when we were having snack earlier, and he actually reached out his arms for me to hold him.  And NO, I was not holding a cookie at the time.  I am however the food lady and it does have its persuasive powers.

The afternoon visit just seemed to fly by. We brought Anthony back to his room and he looked a little sad.  He lights up like a Christmas tree when we come to pick him up.  It's getting tough to leave them.  Katherine, little miss independence that she it, gives us a cheek to kiss and scampers into her room giving us the bendy finger wave. 

Tonight I think I've convinced my husband to watch a movie with me. It will be the first one since we've gotten here. A little escapism for the evening. 

We were just talking a minute ago and Bill said, 'You know we're in Kazakhstan'.  I said, 'Yes and the weird thing about it is it's starting to seem normal'. 

I will still be very glad to get home.  I miss my boy Ryan and cannot wait to see him and put my arms around him for the biggest hug ever!!

Have a Good Night!

© Bill Delmedico 2013