Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yep, We’re Still Here

We just realized that it’s been 3 days since we last spoke. No, we’re not mad at you, it’s just that one day is starting to run into the next. We could have sworn it was only a couple of days.

Well, filing court papers was pretty much nothing. Seriously, all we did was wait in line for about 15 minutes, our coordinator shoved a package of papers through a hole just big enough for a mouse to get through and then we had to prove it was really us by showing our passports and crouching down so they could peek at us through the mouse hole to verify our identity. As our beloved driver would say, “No problem!”

But, filing our papers did accomplish a couple of things. First, it concluded our official 15 day bonding period and second, it got us a date for our court hearing (June 17) where we will officially request to be named as M’s parents. After our court hearing, we will have another 15 or 16 day wait, called the appeal period. After that, if all goes as planned, we will be officially declared his parents and then we can start the paperwork to get him home (immigration, visa, passport, etc.). We should also be able to set our “gotcha day” where we can spring the little gaffer out of the baby house and into our house forever.

We have also met another milestone with M. It is one of those ones that warms your heart and breaks it all at the same time. Other adoptive parents know exactly how this day feels, the day that your little one cries when you drop them off instead of when you pick them up. So far we’ve had it pretty easy, M is happy to see us arrive and easily goes back at the end of the visit. But, today was our day, and let us tell you, that’s a lot of emotion from each end of the spectrum to process at once. Today, one of M’s favourite caregivers was working, a young lady who calls him “little one”. Usually he is eager to see her, especially around snack time and we know that he will easily go to her when we leave. But today was different and when we did the hand-off, M immediately turned himself around and reached out to us with the saddest, tear-filled eyes we’ve seen. We could hear his sobs all the way down the hallway. So here’s where the spectrum of emotion comes in: joy because we know that he was happy to be with us and wants to stay with us and despair because we hate to see him so sad. We know that every day won’t be like this, but it still breaks your heart.

A few new families are arriving this week, and we recognize the look in their eyes. Another spectrum of emotion. Anticipation, fear, uncertainty, certainty, determination, promise, etc. all at once. The heart truly is the most flexible organ of the body. It can feel so many things all at once that you think it is going to burst, but it doesn’t, it dutifully carries on and keeps you going. Even though we can hardly call ourselves experienced at this, we will “pay it forward” as others have done for us and at the very least, offer support and companionship so far from home. Oh, and we’ll make sure to introduce ourselves to each and every family so they know that there is someone who literally speaks the same language!

Okay, so that definitely enough mushy stuff for one day. On the topic of life in Kaz, we’ve hit an all time low this morning: 21˚C in our apartment! For the first time, we dug for the denim jeans and long sleeves and didn’t even think twice about not wearing shorts. Now I know that at home you are longing for 21 degree weather so that you can finally dig those shorts out, but let us tell you, after 2 weeks of heat, 21 seems down right cold! As for the hot water, still nothing. Apparently when they say no water for one week, what they really mean is, “One week you’ll have hot water, but we won’t tell you which one.” We had a little panic the other day because we keep saying that as long as we have water, it’s all good. Well, one afternoon we didn’t have water, and other than our drinking water, we didn’t have any stored up. Thankfully it was only for a few hours, and we’ve learned our lesson – we keep a few jugs of water for washing on hand just in case.

In other news, we see that Detroit has won the Stanley Cup. In fact, we can see it about 3 times a day, every day. If you thought hockey dominated the television stations at home around this time, you should try only having 2 English channels! EuroSport has played the final game over and over and over and over and….okay you get the idea.

So what else can we tell you? Well, we’ve managed to buy light bulbs, and get some photos printed. Now, don’t underestimate what an accomplishment this is for us. First, you have to find a store that sells light bulbs and then you have to find one that sells the kind you need. Now, at home this is pretty straightforward, but here, not so much. Many of the stores here are kind of like a general store with a whole variety of unpredictable items for sale. One store can sell gardening supplies, plumbing supplies, socks, some vegetables, and laundry detergent. The next store might have clothes, a few dishes, maybe shoes, furniture, etc. Plus, you have to figure out if a store really is a store. There isn’t really shopping districts here, there are little stores dotted here there and everywhere and they aren’t always clearly marked what type of store there is. After about 5 carefully selected stores, we found a few that sold light bulbs and finally one that sold the kind we needed. So if you wonder what we do with our time, this is it, we look for light bulbs. Glamorous isn’t it?!?

On the topic of stores, these people love shoes! About every third or fourth store in our area is a shoe store. We don’t know if we just happen to be in the shoe district, or if this is a city wide phenomenon. As tempting as it is, Tammy hasn’t ventured in, mainly because of the weight restrictions on luggage for flying and also because with the heat, shoes bought here aren’t likely to fit once we get home. Oh, but there are so, so many beautiful shoes!


Todd & Rebecca said...

There is nothing like the cry of your child to tear at your heart strings but that cry means the bonding process is going really well. We are finally getting some rain at home but it is still not warm. We can hardly wait for you to get home - have I mentioned that before? ALl our best to you and Baby M and keep the posts coming. Love Rebecca, Todd, Liana, Miranda, & Logan

Julian and Sara Yeomans said...

Beautiful post about all of the emotions. And the shoes...! It is a country-wide phenomenon. I vowed to buy a pair of boots but I never got around to it which is a good thing since our suitcases were overloaded as it was. But they do love their shoes, coats and hats. We were there in the winter with all of the stunning fur hats and fur coats.