Our Adoption Journey to Kazakhstan

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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Polina's home and doing great!

WOW...almost a year and a half ago we began the process to adopt a daughter from the country of Kazakhstan. Time seemed to move at a snails pace completing the necessary paperwork and then only to wait, wait, wait for the day we would get "the call"...being patient has never been one of my strong points and preparing to adopt a child sure did put my ability to be patient to the test!

Then suddenly, it all came together and now our family is complete. Our new daughter, Polina (aka Polly), officially became a "Watrous" March 7th, 2007 before a judge in a Kostanai, Kazakhstan and an official United States citizen when she touched US soil for the first time April 20th, 2007, already over three weeks ago. Now time is racing...funny how things turn around.

To fill in minor some minor details, I departed alone for Kazakhstan to complete the adoption process and bring Polly home Friday April 13th, five weeks following our initial return home. After a couple of days of traveling mishaps I finally saw Polly again on Monday April 16th. With permission, I turned our reunion meeting into a mini birthday party for her with her baby home peer group since we were unable to be with her when she turned three years old March 26th. This was a fun way for Polly to spend her last day in the baby home with the other children in her group.

I was nervous about how she might react to me after not seeing me for five weeks but the moment she saw my face standing in the doorway her recognition of me and her enthusiasm for my presence was as though I'd never left. As soon as she saw me she hollered out "MOMMA!" and pointed to me. I will never forget that moment nor the warmth and excitement I saw in her precious face. Less than 24 hours later I returned to the baby home to pick her up and hustle to the airport. To my surprise, she was enthusiastic about changing her clothes to leave and then confidently held my hand to walk out the door as she waived and said good-bye to her peers and caretakers, the people who loved her and she loved for the entire past year. To this day, she has latched on to her new family and has not looked back.

Our stay in Almaty was short and sweet. The team responsible for seeing Polly and I through the final steps in the adoption process were efficient and wonderful. Our required medical visit and interview at the American Embassy was completed in two days. With spring in the air, the weather was quite warm and the sky was clear. Like Kostanai, everything was close by and many people were getting around on foot. So, in our down time, Polly and I took advantage of our visit to Almaty by walking, exploring and getting to know each other better. A special time for us both.

Polly is adjusting very quickly. She now has a brother (Luke) who is a year older than she. Polly adores her brother and it is obvious he has welcomed her with open arms. We expected her to be shy and timid with new introductions at first but she has once again surprised us. She hollers and waves hello to strangers on the street, in other cars and while out and about. She is warm and loving to all those who show her warmth and love. She already understands most of what we say to her and can say at least 25 English words. "I love you" are the words she speaks most often.

We have no doubt that Polina's warmth and confidence are a reflection of the love she was given at the Delfin Baby Home. We are forever grateful to Dr. Irina and her staff, Olesya and the officials of Kostanai responsible for seeing our adoption through for all they did for Polina and our family.