Posts filed under ‘Travel’

Long Journey Home

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Forgive me all for the longest of pauses here.  I will post later the details of the second trip but I wanted to quickly write that we are home and now a family of four.  Isabel has been with me since the 22nd and has already gone through great changes since then.  We are all getting to know her and she is nothing short of delightful and sweet.  

At the right on my blogroll, you can see “My dossier Pictures” and if you click on it, there are new pictures of Isabel.  I will have more pictures posted soon.  Forgive the quick post but I am still catching up to west coast time and I am sleepy from 2 am feedings .  More soon…I promise.

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June 4, 2007 at 9:17 am 10 comments

The Ending…The Beginning

It’s here.  There are no more weeks or months of waiting.  I’ll be flying to Kyrgyzstan on Saturday and I’ll be seeing our Isabel in a matter of days.  I can hardly believe I’m saying that! 

The last month has been quite a whirlwind of gathering final documents and visas, books to read, travel baby bath that folds (!) soft and comfy baby clothes, and finding room to put it all in the suitcase. 

I had told myself that I didn’t need a haircut or any new clothes for this trip but then today I had a little freakout and begged a haircut from my hairdresser.  This after buying a pair of travel pants.  To me, travel pants are a color that hides smudges, are not uncomfortable in any way, and if they are cute then all the better.  Apparantly it’s pretty warm in Bishkek this spring and so I’m trying to pack for that. 

M. is traveling with me and husband and Zannie are staying behind as they can’t miss any more work or school.  Zannie has never been away from me this long and I’m worried about how she’s going to fare after about day 3.  I’ve lined up a staggering string of play dates to keep her distracted.  At least I have Skype and can call home for next to nothing. 

I keep thinking about how I have been consumed with all things concerning Isabel and Kyrgyzstan since August of last year.  Now, our family is on the edge of beginning a new and exciting chapter. 

I’m excited to be making a personal connection with another family adopting from Bishkek.  The moderator of our Yahoo Kyrgyz adoption group will be there at the same time and so we are going to break naan together with her three boys, the newest of which is an 8 year-old boy who has the best smile I’ve ever seen.  You can check her blog out on my blogroll under LaJoy family blog. 

Plus, I have a very special delivery for a boy we fell in love with at Isabel’s orphanage.  Mala, who will be adopting this darling boy has made him a quilt and I’m going to bring it to him and tell him it’s from his new mama and that she’ll be there soon to give him lots of kisses.  She thoughtfully put it in a space bag and so it’s incredibly small and flat and will probably pop out of the bag like one of those fake can of peanuts that really has a springy, streamer thing in it.  Our little Kyrgyz adoption community is one I’m proud to be a part of.  We really take care of each other in many ways.  We help each other through the maze of paperwork and give recommendations on hotels and travel advice.  But, the most important things we do for each other are checking in on the kids when one of us is over there.  Michelle just took some pictures for other soon-to-be parents.  Shanny brought over something for Michelle…and on it goes.  It does my heart a world of good. 

I can’t believe it’s here.  It’s the end of the adoption, but a real beginning for us as a famly of four.  Isabel has already lost so much in her short life, and we can only hope that we are worthy of being her new family. 

So, off I go.  I will post from Bishkek. 

May 16, 2007 at 10:31 pm 19 comments

Kyrgyz felt and other handicrafts

I’m finally getting around to posting some of the beautiful things I was able to purchase while in Kyrgyzstan. We had time in the afternoons to go looking at the Zum shopping area and I would buy all manner of little ornaments. They are truly wonderful to look at. The expressions on the faces and the stitching is very good.
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We bought a Shyrdak which is a traditional Kyrgyz felt rug. I bought it for the colors as I love oranges and reds not really remembering that I had these pillows. I love how it all looks together.
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While the Zum was a fun place to visit and shop, it was nothing compared to the bazaar we visited. I really wanted to go to the Osh bazaar but were literally laughed at when I said this. They said, “you’re American….why would you want our poorly made things?” Anyway, on the way to Tokmok one morning, our coordinator pulled over and said that we were going to this place that had something I’d mentioned I really wanted to find. They had it! A Chekich. It’s a bread stamp for the naan that’s made here. A woman had them for sale in her stall hanging on a string. She had five. I bought them all! I love how they look and I’m glad that I’ll always have it so that I’m able to teach myself to make real Kyrgyz naan.
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So, those were really my only purchases. For the next trip I want to buy some of the books I saw that depict the countryside of Kyrgyzstan. There are also a lot of silk things to buy, but really I am so drawn to the felt. It is dyed naturally so the colors are soft and earthy.

April 9, 2007 at 5:27 pm 9 comments

The luckiest Mama

…happens to be me. My cup of gratitude runneth over. Court was yesterday and the judged granted our petition to become Isabel’s parents and family. I feel happy and stunned, though I don’t know why. Hearing on the phone that I am legally her mom made me want to go over there and scoop her up and do a little dance. I’ll be traveling mid-May. I can’t wait to bring her home. I would write more, but my brain isn’t working right now.

March 30, 2007 at 12:23 pm 8 comments

Slowly but surely

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We are getting more and more officially closer to being Isabel’s family.  Yesterday and today we got to go see her in the orphanage and today we started the legal proceedings.  It feels very exciting.  We are nearly done with our visit and while we are enjoying it here very much, it is feeling like it is time to come home. 

To celebrate, our coordinators took us (three families over here to do our adoptions)to an authentic Kyrgyz dinner.  It was so delicious.  We had naan, tomato and cucumber salad, Chuch Vara soup, Lagman noodles, various lamb dishes, crepes and Soviet beer. Now we are back at the hotel feeling very satisfied and tired.  It was a very good day.  I am not superstitious so I will say openly that our adoption experience has been incredibly smooth and rather fast.  I am thankful for our agency who is so thorough and most of all, ethical. 

Anyway, you’re only coming here for the pictures, so here you go.  

March 13, 2007 at 2:51 am 5 comments

I Heart Bishkek

isabel12.jpgIt is Sunday afternoon and we have had the day ‘off’ from going to the orphanage.  I would have much rather gone and seen Isabel, but the coordinator and translators get to have a day off too.  I spend a lot of time wondering what Isabel is doing and if she is being held or if she’s sleeping and if she likes the special formula we brought her.  I am wondering how I am going to cope with getting on a plane without her in my arms. 

Yesterday when we arrived at the Tokmok orphanage, we had a brief meeting with the director of the orphanage again to discuss any questions we might have about the latest medical reports.  I had some follow-up questions from the adoption doctors in Seattle and then we were done.  I walked with Zannie over to Isabel’s little room that she shares with two other babies and when we get there, she is receiving her daily massage!  They use Swiss apple-seed oil on her and they knead her muscles and pull on her legs and arms.  They take her arms and wrap them around her like she’s hugging herself tightly.  That made her laugh and smile.  Then, she is briskly turned over and karate-chopped all over her back.  She starts to coo and the hand-chopping makes it reverberate and it is very funny.  We got it on videotape and they asked us to commit to doing it for her when we bring her home.  We nodded and said, of course!  Our interpreter was talking to the nurse in Russian and told me that she said that the nurses all saw how much we already loved her and that they were glad that she was getting a home very soon.  Also, she said that Isabel was everyone’s favorite and that they loved holding her and feeding her.  YAY!!!! 

We brought fresh bananas and apples to the toddlers and we played with Sergey and Rita (being adopted by the folks over at silk road blog…on my blogroll…) and Sergey ate two bananas in a row.  They are DARLING children and we told them that their new mama and papa were so lucky to be getting such wonderful, nice children.  They beamed. 

We’ve been exploring when we have time and energy.  I am loving the local felt crafts and plan to fill a suitcase full of it probably on the next trip to Bishkek.  If you are wealthy, there is a place here where you can have a felt rug made to your specifications with whatever colors and sizes you prefer.  There are affordable felt rugs and other little things like baby booties, ornaments in the shapes of horses, yurts, donkeys, hats, etc.  I love them all.  I really want one of the wooden hand-held thingamajig that you use to prick the naan bread before baking it.  I love buying baking things from other countries. 

Alright.  I think it’s time for me to sit awhile and gather my thoughts, feelings and energy.  We may go out tonight for a quick dinner.  Tomorrow we go back to Tokmok.  Thank Goodness.  

March 11, 2007 at 12:31 am 3 comments

Eight pounds baby – six pounds clothing

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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

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