Our Kazakhstan Journey

Welcome! Gary and I want to share our experiences as we travel to Kazakhstan for or child(ren).

Location: South Florida, United States

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Post script-Home and second trip

Well, after our return from Kazakhstan, it was a mad rush to get the nursery completely ready for Kristin's anticipated arrival a month later. We had nothing ready since initially we knew neither the sex nor the age. Well, the countdown had started. We were very fortunate to have the wonderful support of family and friends. My co-workers threw me a shower that was fantastic and two days later my sister Sandra hosted one as well. With everyone's help, we got everything that was necessary from diapers to crib. The most difficult part was getting the nursery ready. There was a lot to do in a month's time. During that month I was pretty bleary eyed, as there was always something to do after work...paint, move furniture, etc. Eventually all the rooms were successfully redone.

Packing for the second trip was much easier than the first one. We sought other parents advice as to how many diapers to pack, the amount of clothes per day, baby food, etc. We left Miami on September 28 for our second trip . We arrived there Saturday in the wee hours of the morning and were met by Igor. That same afternoon Igor and Galina picked us up to go to the baby house to get Kristin and distribute the gifts. When we saw Kristin, I had anticipated that she would have recognized us..but after one month, she was rather indifferent. We learnt from the staff that the young boy that Gary had befriended in our first trip was now in a foster home, but they assured us that they would forward our gift to him. We spent about an hour at the baby house and then made the trip home. She did not fuss on the ride back, but when we arrived at the flat, it was a totally different story. The poor little thing was terrified. Her fists and feet were balled and she started crying and screaming. Who knew that such a loud noise could come from such a little thing. I could understand why she was scared (and by the way so were we). Here she was in a totally unfamiliar environment with virtual strangers. Keep in mind that previous visits had been only two hours per day for three weeks and then there was a four week gap when we returned home. Well, we felt totally helpless. New parents in a totally unfamiliar environment. The agency had set up a play pen for her to sleep in and Valentina came by later, at her usual 6 PM with food for her. Needless to say, our scheduled Tuesday night departure could not come fast enough. We could not get her to sleep in the play pen. As soon as she fell asleep in my arms, if I tried to put her down in the play pen, she would immediately awaken and the cycle would start again. So we decided to let her sleep in our bed. We tried to adhere to her baby house schedule as much as possible to minimize the stress on her...and us. We were originally scheduled to depart on Tuesday night, but fortunately we were able to move up our US embassy appointment and change our outbound flight without any additional charges. We were anxious to get home with our beautiful daughter.

The part of the adoption process that I was dreading the most was here...the trip home with a baby that has never flown and is with two rookie parents who she hardly knows. Strikes fear in your heart when you think about it, doesn't it? The trip is not an easy one for adults...imagine how it would be for a baby. She did pretty well on the leg from Almaty to Frankfurt. We had brought a baby carrier with us and purchased a seat for her rather a "lap" seat. She slept most of the way. The worst part of the trip was the three hour layover in Frankfurt. She was extremely cranky, crying at the top of her lungs and of course we had no idea what was wrong. I had brought four changes of clothes for her..guess what..it wasn't enough. Restrooms on airplane are extremely small...especially when you are trying to change diapers. She screamed at the top of her lungs for every change. It was embarrassing and tiring. Needless to say, we hardly got any sleep on the trip home. She was pretty good considering the circumstances, slept a lot and fussed when she was hungry, when we changed her, and when she was tired of being in the carrier. But we would be stressed out whenever she would awake. We finally made it home.

My fear that she would have problem adjusting to the ten hour time difference was not realized. The first two nights we put her in her bed, but since that time she has been sleeping in her room. Typically, she goes to sleep between 6-7 PM and sleeps through the night until about 6 AM. She'll have her breakfast (porridge) and then take her morning nap (1-2 hours) at about 8:30 AM. In the afternoon she takes another 1-2 hour nap. She eats very well and her pediatrician is very happy with her progress. Within the first week of her arrival she caught a cold (then I did also), then two weeks later an ear infection and a few weeks after that another cold (which I caught also). I guess it's all part of the joy of parenthood.

I feel that we are truly blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. We had her baptized in November, which my mother surprised me by attending. She has become accustomed to being around others and lights up whenever she is around other children. She is now pulling herself up to stand, which means it is now time to babyproof the house. That's the next project.


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