Our Adoption Journey to Kazakhstan

Our adventurous journey to complete our family by traveling half way around the world...literally!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day 13, 14, 15 & 16 - We're joined by more families



Day 13 (Thursday, February 15th)

Our day began by observing a speech therapy session that included Polly and two other children from her group (her group, by the way, consists of 14 children that are already or near 3 years of age). The session was held in her group room and the rest of the children from her group were off in a play room near by. In attendance were a number of the baby home caretakers from other age groups, the director of the orphanage, the head doctor and the head caretaker (who is also referred to as the head social worker). The speech therapist demonstrated a number of exercises with the three children testing their speech as well as their motor skills. After the session, the three children were escorted out of the room to join the rest of their group mates and then a question/answer session began. Oleysa sat between Brett and I translating most of what was being spoken during the lesson with the children as well as during the question/answer session between the remaining adults. This truly is an amazing operation and the care of the children is obviously THE top priority of everyone at this baby home.

Today with Polina was a 100% turnaround from yesterday. She was obviously pleased by our presence at her speech therapy lesson and we scored points after when we sat to observe her playing in the gym room with her peers rather than immediately taking her away. She also played nicely for quite a while with Brett today so we knew we were back in her good graces. Polly and I did exchange “tests” today which was an interesting experience. She tested me on my boundaries and I tested her back with some “tough love”. In the end, we both won the game and I believe we bonded closer as a result.

Two new American families arrived today that are working with our same agency. One of the families is here for only three days. Their adoption was finalized about a month ago. They are back in Kazakhstan to pick up their newly adopted infant daughter, complete the final steps in this process at the American Embassy in the city of Almaty and return home to the US. The second family is just beginning the process so we will be approximately two weeks ahead of them in the process. They are here with their six year old son and seem like a fun family. It will be good to have another family here to spend time with for the duration of our trip.

Tomorrow night, Olesya is taking all three American families to The Knight’s Castle where she took Brett and me last Friday night. I anticipate another great time!

Day 14 (Friday, February 16th)

Today was the last day of our required “bonding period” with Polly. We can now be scheduled for pre-court which is the next stage in this process. We will not be able to take custody of Polly until we are ready to depart Kostanai but we will continue to visit her daily until it is time for us to leave the country.

Today was a bit adventurous for all three of us. Polly got to leave the baby home with us today in order to have her visa / passport photo taken. It was fun to get out and do something out of our general routine even though we didn’t do much but ride in a car. She’s definitely made great strides with Brett. She actually asked him to pick her up today in addition to volunteering a big hug before saying good-bye to us for the day. As a final note, here is a general tid bit for those of you looking for more than our daily updates:
Although many people smoke here, you seldom experience smoking in eating establishments. Since we’re dining out for almost every meal, this has been nice.

Day 15 and Day 16 (Saturday and Sunday February 17th & 18th)

Not much to report for the weekend. The weather has been bitter cold the last couple of days so we’ve actually been staying in and reading, beading and catching up on sleep this weekend (today it is about minus 20C which is +/- minus 4F).

Polly has been in really good spirits the last couple of days and is making great progress with Brett. It’s very heart warming watching her come out of her protective shell and show us more and more daily of whom she really is.

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