Archive for March, 2007

Eight pounds baby – six pounds clothing


This is a picture from this morning’s visit.  This is Isabel dressed with so many layers that her arms cannot physically be put down.  Underneath her snowsuit is a velour sleeper that has a hood and under the snowsuit hood and the sleeper hood are TWO more hats. Under the velour sleeper are two pairs of pants and two shirts and two pairs of socks.  Just after this picture was taken, a nurse tsk tsk’d me and brought out a wool blanket.  She was like a little package, all firm and bundled up.  We got her inside and took off maybe two layers and she still had a little sweaty brow. 

The time with her just flies by.  I kissed her cheeks and played peek a boo with her the whole time.  She had just had a bottle when we got there and so she was all happy and cooing.  Just as our time with her was ending, she zonked out.  Pictures don’t do full justice as to how darling she is.  She takes everything in when we go to a new room.  She has to look around at everything. 

It is getting much harder to leave every day.  Today I felt shattered on the drive back to Bishkek from Tokmok.  She is well taken care of and she is safe and loved and as you can see she will never be cold, but to leave her….it breaks my heart.  We are noticing a little extra plump in her cheeks and so the new formula must be helping. 

Art and Zannie played with some of the older kids and they had a ball in with them.  Art gets down on the floor and plays with the toy cars and today there were even balloons that were twisted into shapes for the kids.  Zannie met a friend and they said that the two girls can play together every day.  We are bringing the kids fresh fruit tomorrow which we are told is a big treat. 

More tomorrow. 


March 8, 2007 at 5:24 am 4 comments

I could look at this picture all day


I couldn’t figure out how to rotate it, but who cares?  This was Isabel this morning after her bottle.  Those eyes!  We met with her for about an hour and then met with the director of the orphanage and went through all her medical records and how much of the new formula to give her.  We have to put some weight on her and so she’s going to start getting higher calorie stuff per doctor’s Rx. 

We came back to our room and rested a bit and then went exploring and walking all over Bishkek.  We walked through the center where there is a long park.  We were trying to find a specific place that we read about that sells traditional Kyrgyz felt and other ethnic crafts.  We weren’t sucessful in finding it, but we had a good look around.  It’s people and the city are diverse and interesting.  It truly is a meeting of so many cultures of the world in central Asia. 

Tonight I am going to try so hard to stay up later so that I’m not up again at 3 am.  Tomorrow is our third day with Isabel.  We’re going to bring her diapers as this is a cost that is hard on the orphanage. 

We are loving the food here.  Zannie has her ‘chuchvara’ every day which is strong chicken broth with chicken dumplings.  Everything is seasoned so nicely. 

I shall go to sleep tonight wondering what our girl is doing and trying to not count the days until she comes home with us.

March 6, 2007 at 5:57 am 3 comments

Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?

isabel1.jpgWhat a day yesterday was!  We started out for Tokmok with Lori and her Goddaughter and another Frank foundation family.  It takes almost an hour to get there.  We drove along the Tien Shen mountains and saw farms and countryside.  People live in small houses and cows, horses, chickens are walking alongside the road.  There are tiny roadside stands with people selling bottled drinks and Naan. 

We arrived at the orphanage which is a grouping of several small buildings.  The children are in different buildings according to age and need of care.  We were led into the office of the director who greeted us warmly.  We were with our coordinator Ludmilla and Irina, a translator.  She said that Lori would be going to meet her baby, who is almost a year old and so they took her to that building.  Then, they came and told us that they would be taking us to Isabel.  We walked over to a small building.  We walked into a sunny room painted blue inside with white curtains and three small cribs where three tiny girls slept.  I heard the director say, “What’s this?  Look who’s awake!” and all of a sudden, there she was.  We were looking at her.  She was all bundled up in several layers of clothing and tights and several hats.  She was smiling and looking around at all of us.  They kind of fussed with her and either put on more clothing or took some off, I can’t remember.  Literally, she was so overly clothed that she couldn’t put her arms down naturally.  They asked us if we wanted to hold her.  What a question!!  As I told Zannie we would do, I sat down and Zannie sat on my lap and we both held her for the first time together.  Isabel just looked back and forth at us.  We looked at her tiny, long fingers and she held on to our fingers with a tight grip.  She was having some gas pains and the nanny scooped her up to change her.  Then, after putting on a new diaper and putting yet another layer of clothing on her, they walked us over to a quiet, softly lit room and left us alone with her.  We had about an hour with her.  Art swears it was two hours, but it just couldn’t possibly be.  It went by in a minute it seemed.  Anyway, she was just so sweet and kept looking at the three of us.  She would seem to perk up while looking at Zannie.  Zannie was stepping into being the big sister like she’d been doing it all her life.  I was so proud of how protective she was already acting. 

Isabel started to fuss and I could tell she was hungry.  I called over to the director that she was hungry and she said that it would soon be feeding time.  Well, little Isabel was hungry NOW and didn’t let up and suddenly, a glass bottle with an enormous nipple on top arrived.  She drank it in record time. 

After her bottle her whole demeanor changed.  She was serene and suddenly her eyes were more open and she was looking directly into our eyes.  She was cooing and sometimes flashing us a gummy smile.  She had an enormous burp and then I handed her over to Art who promptly launched into his own version of lullabyes.  He can never remember the real words and so he makes up cute versions.  About two minutes later she was asleep.  And it seemed only a minute after that they came to take her back to her crib.  It was all too fast, but still so wonderful.  We are just taken in by her sweet nature. 

We drove back talking with Lori about her girl and how we all felt.  We stopped at a grocery store and bought yogurts, cereal, crackers and cheese, ‘coke light’ and some bread.  Later we had a Kyrgyz meal.  Zannie had a brothy soup with dumplings, I had plov, which is pilaf with a spicy tomato and cucumber salad, and art had a spicy soup with lamb.  We rested and went to bed early.  It is a day that I truly will never forget. 

She is just so lovely and sweet and seems to like us too.  We want to take her home with us now and I think we’d do just about anything if that could really happen.

March 5, 2007 at 4:36 pm 7 comments

I’m up…they’re sleeping

It’s 3 a.m. ish here and I am wide awake.  WIDE awake.  I zonked out at about 6 pm.  I tried to stay awake so as to be on local time, but kept falling asleep while reading.  We had dinner and had Plov and soup with dumplings.  It was so delicious and delicately seasoned.  Zannie literally ate her last dumpling, sat back in her chair and fell asleep.  She’s still asleep!  That was over 12 hours ago.  I’m thinking she may wake up soon and that will be interesting. 

Today is the day we meet our daughter.  I hesitate in even writing ‘daughter’ because she is still very much not yet our daughter.  But, we have brought her the formula the doctors want her to have and a baby photo album with our pictures in it.  I know that the minute we see her, we’ll want to be taking care of her every minute.  It will be hard to leave the orphanage every day.  I feel strangely neutral in many ways.  I have seen pictures of the orphanage, but not our girl.  I don’t think I can prepare myself for today and so I am just reminding myself to stay in the moment and let the feelings come as they are.  I’ve already thought about them bringing her to us and how I will let Zannie hold her first, on my lap.  She has decided that I am ‘big mama’ and she is ‘little mama’ I kept it to myself that I don’t necessarily love the visuals I get when I hear ‘big mama’ .  I hope that I am just as good at mothering two children as I am at one.  I mean, I’m certainly not a perfect mother and I am constantly telling myself to be better and to have more patience.  I just have to be the best I can be. 

I think I hear Zannie stirring and waking up.  I’ll post later and hopefully with a picture of Isabel. 

March 4, 2007 at 3:55 pm 6 comments

Hello from Bishkek!


OMG – we’re here!  It’s Sunday afternoon local time and we arrived this morning after leaving originally from San Francisco Friday afternoon.  Zannie was an absolute champion traveler.  We’re calling her the super duper trooper and when we were in the Moscow airport I promptly bought her a Swarovski crystal charm necklace to reward her incredibly patient and understanding behavior way beyond her years.  So, we flew from LAX to Moscow on a 13 hour flight.  We felt that Aeroflot was a good airline and we had good food for dinner.  The flight was only about a third full and so we got to stretch out and sleep fairly well.  We landed in Moscow and were there for about 3 hours and had some desperately needed diet coke (coke light) and Art had a beer at the Irish pub.  We cruised the duty free which is pretty amazing.  Everyone is wearing fur coats and hats. 

We bumped into Lori, another Adoption Options person who is adopting a little baby girl who is almost one year old.  She’s here with her God daughter and they are fun and sassy.   

We landed in Bishkek 6ish Sunday morning local time and were met by our coordinator who took us to our hotel.  We checked in, ate some breakfast, and took a breather.  We looked around, talked with Lori and made the decision to stay at the Hyatt instead of the place we were in.  For a few days it would have been fine, but for two weeks we felt that it would not be the respite we would need after an emotionally draining day at the orphanage.  We got here and it is amazing and worth the extra money.  Lori and God daughter are next door and we’ll probably have dinner together and then go to bed early. 

There is so much more but I am utterly exhausted.  It is cold here with snow still on the trees and on the sides of the road.  It isn’t bitter cold, but you need a good coat and hat and gloves. 

Tomorrow we go to Tokmok.  Our daughter is there.  If I weren’t so tired, I would not be able to sleep. 

Here is a picture of a snow angel that Zannie made outside the hotel.

March 3, 2007 at 11:38 pm 5 comments

And Away We Go!


San Francisco. Los Angeles. Moscow. Bishkek.

March 1, 2007 at 9:28 pm 7 comments

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