Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Never Forget Kostanai

That's what the sign says that this funny little guy is holding. A souvenir from our most unforgettable trip to Kostanai Kazakhstan and our precious children.

This time 4 years ago we were fulfilling our dream of becoming parents. After 15 months of waiting we were finally holding our beautiful children in our arms. We first met Molly and Aidan on the evening of June 8th, 2005. We were greeted at the Kostanai City airport by our facilitator, Olessya, and driven directly to the baby home. We met with Dr. Irina, director of the Delphin baby home, and after introductions and a brief conversation were shown several files. We asked to see Molly and Aidan and it was love at first sight. After a too short visit our babies were returned to their rooms and we floated over to our hotel. The next day we toured the baby home, were assigned a time to visit (1:00PM - 2:30PM), and began the required bonding period. We had our preliminary court date on July 4th and final court on July 8th. After the mandatory 15 day waiting period the court decision came into power on July 26th and Molly and Aidan were ours forever. If you're interested in all of the details check out our entries beginning June 7, 2005.

We didn't publish any pictures on our Blog during our trip because the adoption wasn't finalized and we were connecting to the Internet via dial-up and that would have been too painful. I intended to go back and update postings with pictures but life with two babies/toddlers/preschoolers is hectic to say the least. So now I'll post a few as I reflect back upon those magical days.

I'm a big follower of other family's adoption Blogs. Frequently I find a person or family who are trying to decide what country is the best fit for them. Many of them are hesitant about choosing to adopt from Kazakhstan because of the extensive travel. I usually leave a comment about our positive experience and emphasize that while the travel may seem daunting it is one of the the most amazing parts of the journey. To be able to spend that amount of time in your child's country of birth and to be able to share those memories with your child is a rare and wonderful opportunity.

Forget Kostanai. Not in a million years.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Keeping Busy

The last couple of weekends have been action packed including a visit from my niece and her family and a jaunt to Citizens Bank Park to route for the Fightin' Phils. We picnicked in the parking lot and had a really good time. Once in the ball park it took Molly 3 full innings before she was satisfied that we weren't going to pitch over the railing. Granted we were on the 300 level but nowhere near the nose bleed section. Prior to that she was glued to her seat fearing for her life. I think her Godmother can relate. All was really well when the Phanatic made an appearance in the 5th. Unfortunately, Molly will have to get used to these seats as anything field level is definitely not in the budget.

After a wet week we finally had some decent weather and took full advantage. We spent the entire day outside on Saturday. Molly and Aidan had breakfast alfresco in their PJs (Molly in a fetching Dora nightgown) and stayed that way until when we put on their bathing suits after lunch. I bought a slip and slide at Toys R Us for $9.99 and got what I paid for. I set it up and when I turned on the hose water gushed out where it should not. I patched the rip with duct tape and we were good to go. Molly and Aidan were none the wiser. Pat mowed the lawn and I explored my artistic side trimming bushes and trees while the kids played. We finished up our day outside with a BBQ.

On Sunday we attended our adoption agency's annual picnic. We've gone every year since Molly and Aidan arrived home and its always a great day. There are several family with children adopted from Kazakhstan who also attend and its so wonderful to see them and for all of the Kaz kids to get together. Molly and Aidan have been looking to having their faces painted since the last picnic and waited so patiently in the LONG line. They were thrilled with the results. The agency hires a professional photographer for the day and families can get their pictures taken at no cost. When it was our turn we quickly arranged ourselves in the usual pose and smiled away. The photographer laughed and said "I guess this isn't your first time." Hard to believe it was our 4th sitting. After the picnic wrapped up we went to see friends who live in the area (the picnic is about 1 or so from our house) and stayed for dinner. They have 3 children who were very good to Molly and Aidan. We really enjoyed seeing our friends and catching up. It makes you wonder why you don't get together more often.