So when we arrive at the baby house and make our way to Ava’s room, we usually find her in a big play crib or in a walker. She sees whichever one of us walks in first (we try to take turns), then looks over our shoulder for the other one of us, and then gets this ‘they’re back again?!’ sort of look on her face, then we pick her up and she is all smiles. I really wish we had the 2 visits a day as I think she would get to know us better, but hopefully this will make our few weeks away from her less traumatic. The other families we are with adopted from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan before so they’ve been very helpful to us new parents. They say that the babies really start to bond when you get them out of the orphanage and you are their sole caretaker since they’ve never seen one person for that long of a stretch before. The 30 hour trip home helps especially.
Since we only have the one visit, we have a lot of downtime now. We spend our days wandering the streets of Karaganda, taking it all in. When we’re at the apartment we read, watch TV in a foreign language, or watch DVD’s (though we’ve only watched two so far). Dishes, laundry, and grocery shopping all take up time too. It seems like we are both sleeping more too, perhaps just because we can, or maybe just because we’re bored.
We found out today that the gifts we bought for a lot of the people we are helping here were good. They got the stamp of approval which is a big relief. We also found out a little bit more about our court date. We will go to court on the 30th and the local Ministry of Education a few days before, and get interviewed by both to make it official. We’ve been told the court visit should only take 15 minutes or so, and the MOE about the same I think. I found out a little bit more about what we have to talk about too. Things like why we are adopting, do I make enough money, do we own a house, will Ava have her own room etc. will be asked. Then Larissa said that we were an ‘easy case’, not much to worry about, which made us both feel a lot better. I guess families that have a lot of kids already, or don’t own a house have to answer more questions. As long as they don’t look at Shawn’s comments on the blog, we should be fine.
The other day we went around the corner from our apartment to the central park of the city, which was HUGE, complete with a pond, amusement park rides, little kid play houses, and interesting statues. It was very nice and a lot of people were walking around and enjoying the day, complete with their coats on in the 65 degree weather. I got some strange looks for not having a jacket on and (gasp) a short sleeve shirt! We took about 100 pictures in the park alone.
Today we will go grocery shopping, rest, spend our precious 2 hours with Ava, eat dinner and call it a day. Here’s some more Ava pictures from yesterdays visit.