"No I didn't give you the gift of life, but life gave me the gift of you!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Apartment Here We Come!

Well, today I went to see our new digs, looks like as of this Sunday, I will be renting an apartment for our last week in Aqtobe; that sounds weird, ‘our last week in Aqtobe,’ this too will be Zahri’s last week here. Mixed emotions! My hope is that Monday I will have official custody of Z, and that afternoon I will bring her to our new one bedroom apartment. Thank you all SO very much for your opinions on bringing Zahri to my hotel / apartment versus continuing our normal daily routine at the orphanage. After much thought, I agree that this will be best for both of us. This time alone, with just Zahri and I, will give me that time to know her routine, to get to know her tummy, her signals, her sleep patterns or lack there of, her choices for food, etc. It will also give us time for her to connect to me as her sole security. I want for her to feel some comfort with me before we board the plane, and I think that a week alone will help her see that I am safe and that I will take care of her. So my plan is to do my last bits of shopping Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday I will be moving and visiting the grocery store to load up on a week’s worth of groceries for both of us. It is so crazy, I have had nearly 5+ weeks of shopping and such here, and now that I know I have only 2 more days to shop for souvenirs and gifts, I am stressing at how to get it all done.

Yesterday Bayan (one of my favorite caregivers) and Bayan (my favorite translator) and I went over Zahri’s daily routine. They let me know when she eats, what she eats, when she sleeps, when they play, etc. And then I asked about Zahri’s tummy, is she regular, what should I be expecting? I know that this has been a hurdle for many families once they take their children from the baby house, so I wanted to know if Z had any issues as of late. The good news is that it sounds like she is pretty regular and that she is not a finicky eater at all, the bad news (and a major decision maker for me in deciding to take the apartment no matter what) was the knowledge that they had started to ‘potty train’ Zahri. I put ‘potty train’ in quotation marks because I was desperately hoping that they hadn’t started this practice yet with Z, but indeed they have. For those of you that don’t know how they potty train it is just about as warm and fuzzy as how they feed the babies. They don’t have time to hold each child on the potty until they go, they don’t help the boys practice shooting cheerios, they don’t read them books about going pee pee in the potty, nothing fun by any means. Needless to say that diapers are quite spendy so they must potty train asap. Anyhow, this was enough to solidify in my mind the need for me to have her with me as soon as we possibly could. So Monday at the apartment it is! Crazy!!!!

Today Sarah, Geert & Ganna officially became a family, as did Evy, Davy & Ilyan! Yahooo! This afternoon the babies were picked up at the orphanage and both families are now enjoying their time together in their apartments as a family. It is just amazing really, what a crazy feeling! Tomorrow we are all going over to Davy and Evy’s apartment for a celebratory Belgium meal consisting of beef stew & dark Beer. I can’t wait! I am bringing some local smoked cheese for the beer too. Mmmmm! Yesterday at the orphanage, Evy made Belgium Pancakes, which are what I remember as Crepes from my trip to Paris, and they were phenomenal. Evy had made the pancakes the night before and then we heated them up with my hot plate at the orphanage, put butter and brown sugar on them, rolled them up and mowed them down. They were fantastic! The first photo is of Geert, Sarah and Ganna and the second photo is Evy, Davy and Ilyan.

Here is Zahri yesterday, she was playing with the huge mouse in the playroom. We thought that we best pull him down since it is the year of the rat/mouse. It was a warm and sunny day, warm being like zero degrees, but warm to us nonetheless, so we opened the blinds and let the sun shine in.

Here is also a photo of the Mosque a couple days ago, we had a wonderful snow, and the photo turned out perfect. Several University students were walking hand in hand with their stiletto boots, fur coats & cute hats. The photo was a fun one to take, a great memory of my time here.


Alysa said...

Omigosh!! Having your daughter "for real" is getting so close!! I'm excited and nervous for you! That's how I would feel anyway, so I'm projecting. ;)

Congrats to the other families. Sounds like they have been wonderful friends for you while you have all been there.

The more I hear about Aqtobe and how things are run at the babyhouse (especially the 2x day visits, letting you take in food, etc) the more I still want to go to that region... hmmm.

Don't stress over the shopping. You probably have more souvenirs than you realize. And you can always pop Z in a stroller or snugli and go out as a family!


Karla & Ben said...

YEA! I'm so excited for you!

Liz said...

Just a few more days, did you ever think this would come! Horray!! Great decision on moving into an apartment for the week, your right this will give you a chance to really get to know one another.

Are you going to stay in contact with the other families? I ran into Angie at Coborn's yesterday. She looks great and misses you terribly! When are your mom and sister coming and how long will they be there, until you have to turn around and come home? Good luck with moving!

Jill xoxo

Susan said...

Great pictures today! I am glad you got the apartment for the last week. and um, don't worry about answering my "tag" email. I just thought it was fun and you can do that once you get home and settled. :)
Love the picutres of the people going to mosque.

Anonymous said...

Great decision and I can't believe your journey is wrapping up. Aqtobe sounds wonderful ;-)

Global Girl said...

Great news :) Z has changed so much!

Kelly and Sne said...

That'll be wonderful to be able to play 'house' together. Seriously, a great bonding experience and time to focus only on each other before all of the chaos of travel and your homecoming starts.

Also - it's terrific that you're making such good friends there. I hope that we meet some other fun families while we are there too.

flyingfish347 said...

Christy, I'm so glad you chose to rent the apartment and bring Zahri there. I didn't have a chance to chime in on that one, but this is what I would have voted for! I'm counting down the days with you. And I only need one hand!!!!!


bottent said...

I am so excited for you. How great that you can take Z to an apartment and spend a week together before you get on a plane. I am also excited that Becky and your mom are going to be coming to meet Z. Best of luck to you on your trip home and I hope to come see you two soon.

Tammy Botten

Matthew and Suzanne said...

I have thought about you since you asked opionions of what to do about the apartment, and I was hoping youd make this choice. Congratulations. This will be a great time for you and Z. Spending the rest of your lives together! What a gift. You are both so lucky to have each other.

Izaak, Elijah & Ty 'Bear'

Izaak, Elijah & Ty 'Bear'
Cousins (Izaak wants to name my daughter (his cousin) Isabella, Sant (for 'Santa') or Hershey (his friend's dog's name.) Hmmmm I told him that if we name her 'Hershey,' that would mean that we get to give her a lot of kisses.

Kolter Matthius Simon

Kolter Matthius Simon
Littlest Cousin......possibly. Kolter may indeed be the same age as his little girl cousin in Kaz. :)