Saturday, January 19, 2008
SUCCESS AT COURT!!!!
Tonight was awesome! Tonight, as a group of 6, we decided to go out and celebrate. Really celebrate our appeal periods. Sarah & Geert (and Ganna), Davy & Evy (and Ilyan), me (and Zahria) and Bayan. It was so fun. We went to the ‘BAP’ which reads ‘Bar’ in English at the Hotel Asia. There were 2 floors of pool tables (my great friend Sherree would have loved it!) and many tables for people like us to sit and drink Vodka and eat smoked string cheese. It was so fun! I needed tonight! When I walked into our afternoon visit, everyone asked, ‘How was it?’ ‘How was court?’ and I said, ‘It was great, in and out in 10 minutes, and I need a drink!’ It was true for goodness sakes, this was a stressful week, for all of us, and to go out with friends was what I needed. Thankfully they listened and agreed and we all decided to go out to the Hotel Asia for some Vodka. Now I sit here eating left over Fritos Chile Cheese chips from Laurie for supper and writing my blog entry. Probably not a good idea after a couple shots of Vodka and Orange Juice, but it is real and it was a fun night, so I write here on my single bed having had a bit too much of Vodka tonight (I am a middle child for goodness sakes so I can say this as true and know that my friends and family will laugh and still love me for the crazy me that I am.)
This last photo is how we were all seeing each other after just 2 hours and only a couple shots of Vodka. :)
At the end of my court hearing today, which was a total of maybe 15 minutes, I got the a-okay to adopt Z. She is mine considering that our 15 day appeal period goes without a hitch. I feel really good tonight. I love these people here. They are truly good people. We are all first time parents and it is such a wonderful thing to share this experience with such good people. Ganna will get Sarah and Geert! Ilyan will get Davy and Evy! I will get Zahria = Perfect! I must admit that hearing Geert and Davy talk about their babies tonight, I envied these two married couples. These men love these babies! They love without condition and I really admire that! Really admire that! I will have this too, Zahri and I will have this! I promise baby, we will have this! You are my absolute priority now!
Court went well, it was maybe 15 minutes at most. My judge was actually a woman, so I loved that! In Kazakhstan, this was an unheard of, and I totally appreciated it! Go Women! My prosecutor was a man, he was serious, asked a couple general questions and then shook my hand at the end as to say Congratulations, which I truly appreciated! I really thought that they would ask, “Why are you so young? Why aren’t you married?” But he did not, she did not, they treated me like any other adoptive family, which I was just not prepared for. I know that I am a stretch here, being young and single and all. I know that I go against their culture, so to agree that I was a good mom for Zahria (Zukhra) was a tough call in the way of culture. If you are an unwed mother here in Kazakhstan it is a really tough life I hear, the culture just isn’t yet accepting of this. It can be very trying to find a husband if you are a single mom, and it can be really trying to be a single mom in their culture in general, so I really applaud the court system for understanding that life in other cultures is beyond this thought / this idea. Man am I so fortunate to live in the United States in this year of 2008 where woman can be independent young mothers, without being married, and still be beautiful! I know that it is still a stretch here, but at least there is a choice, I can choose to parent as a single mom, and a man can choose me as a single parent to still be amazing, beautiful, independent and yet so worthy of the love of marriage and family. This will be me! This will be us!
The first photo is of the court house and the second is a photo of my court room, the 3 women in the photo (with their fur coats :) are Gulnara my coordinator on the left, the orphanage head doctor in the middle, and the lady from the Department of Education that helped me in the selection process.
When I met the Director of Education before I selected my child, she asked me why I was so young, didn’t I want to birth my own child. I answered honestly, as I cannot lie, I said that adoption has always been in my heart. It just has. At this point in my life I didn’t feel that push to ‘birth a child.’ My push was to adopt. I am not sure how to explain this, but I have always known that Zahria was out there waiting for me, she is my child, she was meant to be my first! I know this! My heart knows this! I know this sounds crazy to some, some people have no idea how I could be so heart set on adoption, how I could long for a child that was not in my tummy, but I just knew, I just knew that she was mine! This is my daughter, and she is absolutely beautiful! I know that someday she may need to find her roots, and I will always support this, without hesitation, I will support that she may need to see where she came from and who she got her smile from. But for now, for the next many years, she is mine, my child (and she will always be my child of course), whom I will raise with my wonderful, pure values, to love all those that are good, to understand that we all are unique and good, and that she can be unique and amazing and challenging and exactly who she is, and I will love her always. I appreciate her birth mother. She was a very strong woman! She made choices that I will never know, some that maybe I will never have to understand. It just amazes me that I am a young single woman in the United States adopting a little girl that was born to a young single woman in Kazakhstan and our lives can be so different and yet so the same, we both love this little girl named Zukhra/Zahria so much that we promise to do what is absolutely best for her. Her birth mother promised to carry her, protect her, keep her healthy in her womb & give birth to her and I promise to take care of her, love her and bring her up as a wonderful loving human being. I promise to love her always, to raise her like she too was in my womb and to love her so completely that she never questions what true love is. She is my daughter! My first!
This is the most amazing, and challenging, part of adopting in Kazakhstan, you really get to know your child’s culture. Living here for nearly 2 months, truly being immersed in her culture, I will feel that I have a good sense of where she came from, who her people are and I will then be able to communicate with her what I experienced while living in her region. Her people are good people. Quiet. You need to really get in before you are respected and appreciated. Until then you are just another person on the streets, not worthy of respect or appreciation. They may cut right in front of you in the line at the grocery store, they may look at you and whisper, they may look at the exterior of you and not what is on the inside. But once you get in, you are in, you are family, you are loved forever. Until you leave your bubble of what you have known for your life, and meet new people, to understand a new culture, you cannot truly appreciate, appreciate a new people, you just cannot understand what it is to be raised in an entirely different culture. Life is so different here. People are so different. Not worse, not better, just so different. And I have grown to like it here. People are not fake. You are not an immediate friend. You are not presumed to be good. You are just you. And you need to prove that you are good, and until then, you are just a person.