Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Last Day for Trip #1

I guess, I can sum it up by saying that I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and I am leaving with such mixed feelings.

I was alone for our last visit today due to Craig's brillant plan ( see the post from July 3) gone bad. Luckily, I have the lay of the land down and a wonderful driver. I would have still loved a shoulder to cry on today. Addison was as cute as ever! She is definitely alert and was very interested in me but still no smiles although I will give her credit for trying. It was a repeat of most days in that I got to feed her, play with her, stroll outside ( which I am sure is a rare experience) and put her to sleep. I left her with the stuffed bunny that Ansley and Alec did for her, a small photo album of our family and a few new pacifiers since she really loves them. Of course, those items were probably more for my benefit but nice to leave none the less. Let me tell you, if I could have put her in bag and ran like the wind I would have been unstoppable!

So what happens now, you ask??? Well, we leave for an undetermined amount of time and wait for the rest of the process to play out before we can come back and bring her home. The process is such that after you receive your referral you come to meet the child on Trip #1. During the interval time between trip 1 and 2, the process AS OF TODAY is that the petition to adopt the child goes before a local committee (ours is done) then goes to the capital of Bishkek to be signed off by an official at the Minister of Education ( who hasn't started yet) after that it apparently returns to the local region for court. After court occurs there is a 30 day wait until the last of the documents can be processed (ie. passport, new birth certificate, ect...) which takes about 10 day. At the end of the 10 days, you get to finally get to return. Without going into the gory details, we are dealing a new, unorganized, and likely corrupt government so timelines mean nothing so I am not going to put any down. As you can see, there are MANY potential pitfalls ahead of us. The only good thing is that both our agency and more importantly our in country coordinator, Saule, are emphatic that all of these adoptions will be finalized and the babies will come home but in an unknown period of time. This a complete change from when we started this process and it had been consistently 4-8 weeks between trips. As most of you know, I am incredibly type A and this situation and my lack of control is going to kill me.

I did get to go to another orphanage today and what a treat. They seem to really have things figured out and boy did those babies look good. Well nourished, strong and happpy! Although I was incredibly pleased for those babies, it made me realize what Addison and the others are missing out on. In Addison's room, there are 10 babies and of the 8 of them that are neurologically intact, I only saw one baby smile in the entire 4 days. In their defense, our visits were during nap times and we were only there 2 hours a day so I could have been missing out on the smile time. It could also be that I am being incredibly neurotic and making a big deal out of nothing but I saw 11 babies in 3 orphanages and I don't think that I am. Although the ladies there were very hard working and kind, I just did not see much stimulation or true interactions with the babies. I was able to have a long talk with our coordinator today and explained ( with tears-I just couldn't help it) how worried I was. She has promised that she will be checking in daily of course, with Tokmok being a long drive from Bishkek, I am afraid that will taper off.

So in the end, I will have many happy pictures of our precious daughter to be and will pray that we will have her home soon! To leave on a happy note, I will let you in on some of Addison's day to day life.
* She has funny hair on the top of her head where some of it goes to the left and some the right and in the end it forms a silly little peak. Actually, I guess Alec was right when he said that her hair looked like a shark fin.
* She loves to look to the right, but only with her eyes not by turning her head, but luckily doesn't have a funny looking head and my peds friends will know what I mean. Don't worry she can look in all directions!
* She has a lower pitched cry and it is really more of a fuss than a cry or maybe I just didn't make her that mad.
* She loves to play with her fingers and doesn't like to have her arms stretched above her head like in the "so big" game.
* She likes to be held in a cradle position and definitely not at the shoulder.
* She and all her friends start crying for food about 15 minutes before it is due ( they all get 150 cc every 3 hours) but as soon as the workers start preparing it they all quiet down and watch. Very interesting.
* The baby boy that sleeps in the crib next to her's is the happy guy so I am hoping that he will rub off on her.

That's all for now. I have to be up at 0300 for my journey from Bishkek to Istanbul to Frankfurt to Washington, D.C. to Orlando to drive home to Jacksonville ( I promise to sleep if Craig hasn't made it back yet). Yes, another result of Craig's plan gone bad. Poor guy feels horrible. Note to self, if it is too good to be true then it probably is and buddy passes and jump seat are way hard to use once you leave the country. The best part of it all is that soon I will be back home with Ansley and Alec who I have missed terribly!!!! Ten days is just too long to be gone. Thank goodness for two great kids and a wonderful Grandma who has been taking care of them for us!

Take care!
Not an uncommon site on the local roads.


  1. Ironic all the things you mentioned about Addison I notice about Ellie when we were there. We did get a smile or two from her, but it was a rare occurence. She plays with her hands a lot. She sticks her hands straight out, but not up. She knows when it's time to eat. It's hard back here, I won't lie. And there has been so much going on about if court will happen due to the judge's current absence (sick/vacation/whatever), that I don't have a CLUE when we will return. I'm hearbroken about it all. I've lived vicariously through you this week and hope to be able to follow other families' visits as well to keep me "connected" to my baby on the other side of the world!! Thank you for helping. Good luck for your return trip.

  2. I love that photo of Addison with the bunny Suzanne! Sorry you had to endure this day alone. Just know that we are all here for and with you.

    Strength and peace,


    ps: Thanks for giving us some peace today.

  3. It is a blessing we have each other to lean on. I know I will be right there with you soon. I almost dread going on "trip 1" because I won't want to leave. We will all make it to the other side. Just like we all made it through the paperwork, and waiting for the referral calls.
    I am wishing you a peaceful heart.

  4. Praying that God will give you peace of mind, rest and the courage to withstand the wait for Trip 2. You have been quite brave during Trip 1 and brought so much help to many other families!

    Wishing many blessings on you as you journey home...

  5. What a sweetheart! She looks so great. Have a good trip home and I willkeep my fingers crossed for a quick turnaround time for to go pick up Miss Addison.

    April Taylor

  6. Oh, isn't the last day of trip one just brutal? I started crying on my morning visit to the Bishkek Baby House, and kept at it, on and off through lunch and errands, then again on my afternoon visit. I'm sure it wouldn't be quite so hard if it weren't for all this uncertainty about when we get to go back.

    One good thing is that we have a lot of families who can empathize with us right now.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on the three different orphanages you visited. I've often wondered how they compare.

    -Suzanne B

  7. Suzanne,

    I can't begin to imagine how difficult this has been and how it has changed your life. Addison is so precious, and so lucky to have you and Craig. It has been eye opening for me to hear your struggles and what it is like for these precious little ones. I wish this process was easier for all of the families who just wish to give these children a safe and loving home. Our prayers are with you, and we hope that you are able to bring Addison home soon.

  8. Oh, thank you for sharing this journey with me-- It takes such a tremendous amout of faith and patience to bring Addison to her forever home... *tears* *hugs* Hang in there...if it helps, I have some furniture that needs painting...not rocking chairs, but hey...