Monday, March 19, 2007
Rowing Toward the Shore....
"Pray to God, but continue to row towards shore...." --Russian proverb
We finally have a firm travel date to return to Kyrgyzstan--we depart this Friday, March 23rd, and should return with Maggie and Sam on April 5th. What a long wait it has been, wondering if they are healthy and if they remember us and if they are still excited about coming to America. Though time has passed slowly in some ways, in others it has flown by--it has taken time to put into place new household living arrangements, doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, child care plans, clothes and toys for a girl (in a household with plenty of boy-stuff), etc. But the packing has begun and we're looking forward to our departure.
Here is how this trip will go, to our understanding--we arrive on Sunday, on Monday we go to the embassy to do paperwork, on Tuesday we go to the orphanage to pick up the kids. On Wednesday it's back to the embassy for additional paperwork, with kids in tow, then Thursday through Sunday is waiting, waiting. On Monday we are driven to Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, where there is a more full-service US embassy. The children are examined in the medical clinic there (for communicable diseases that would prevent their entry into the US), and if all is well, on Wednesday they are issued a visa to enter the US. They will actually travel with a Kyrgyz passport, but as soon as they clear immigration at their first US port (Atlanta), they will be US citizens. Whew! I know you've figured out from this that, like the whole international adoption process over the past year, there is a lot of "hurry-up-and-wait". Also, you've probably noticed that we will have Maggie and Sam with us in Bishkek and Almaty for over a week, in various hotel rooms. That should be pretty interesting, learning to parent two kids we can't communicate with in a couple hundred square feet of space! We hear, though, that the weather there is much improved, so we hope to be able to take them to the park or for walks, as much as possible.
You should know that the world of Kyrgyz adoption is quite small at the moment; I would guess that less than 20 families have travelled there to adopt children so far. It is a country that just opened for adoption last year, so there are only a very few agencies doing adoptions there and the number of people who have completed their adoptions, or are waiting to adopt, is still fairly small (but growing). Many of us who are working through this process are internet/email buddies--it helps with the waiting and the dissemination of information, etc. An example of how small this particular world is are some of the photos on this particular post. They were sent to us just last week by our friend Tina, who has been at Tokmok meeting her infant girl for the first time. She and her husband took their 4-year-old daughter with them, and, during Mom and Dad's bonding time with the infant at he orphanage, her daughter was allowed to play with--you guessed it--Maggie and Sam. So Tina talked to them at length about us, how we were returning soon, brought them fruit to eat, and sent us several photos of their time with her. It was so great to be able to "check in" on them from a distance, and remind them that we are indeed coming back for them.
Well, the new children's room is ready, we are frantically packing for us and two kids who we barely know, and Zachary is stressing out big time (suddenly worried about sharing, sleeping arrangements, and being left behind on the trip). Please keep us in your prayers as we travel again, and we will post as often as time allows once we arrive. The journey continues....Love to all...