January 6, 2009

This is my last post from Kazakhstan. I can’t say I am sad to leave. I miss home. I miss my family and friends. I miss English, driving my own car, and diet Pepsi. I am sick of smog, restaurants, and hotels. I will not put Kazakhstan on my list of places to which I must return. Nevertheless, I will always be grateful to this country and the people we have met along the way. After all, I am leaving Kazakhstan with the most wonderful little souvenir ever!
Best Souvenir Ever
Today marked the final step in the international portion of our adoption journey. We went to the US Embassy here in Almaty and obtained the final paperwork and approvals to bring Nina home. The appointment itself was once again lacking in any pomp and circumstance. No fireworks, champagne corks or releasing of doves but we did get Nina’s Kazakhstan passport complete with US Immigrant Visa and a sealed brown envelope which we have been told to deliver to US Immigration unopened. That’s it we are done.
Our little Immigrant

Tomorrow morning Nickoli will pick us up at our hotel at 5:30 in the morning for our 8:20am flight. We are again going through Amsterdam and then Detroit before arriving in Cleveland at 8:35pm on January 7th. We don’t have very long layovers at any one place which is both good and bad. The whole trip is only about 24 hours (I know “only”) but if we have any delays well that will not be good. (Think good thoughts!) The 7th is also Kiefer’s 18th birthday and with all the travel it looks like his 18th will last 36 hours-that’s pretty cool. It’s funny even the prospect of 24 hours of plane travel with a very active 2 year old sounds appealing when home is the destination.
I love my Daddy

I keep thinking, “what a long strange trip it has been”. To be certain adoption is not for the faint of heart (nor is adopting a 2 year old who has spent most of her short life in institutional care). So many times in this process, I was despondent, certain “she” would never come. Sometimes I muscled thru my sadness on pure stubbornness, determined not to let the “process” beat me. Mostly though I just couldn’t bear the thought of not having a daughter and therefore endured whatever pain, lack of control and disappointment that came my way. This has been the single most exhausting test of my patience and emotional fortitude. I am much stronger than I knew. Kazakhstan Car Seat

Now nearly on the other side I am like all new mothers, suffering from blissful postpartum amnesia. I catch myself saying all those things that used to sound so cliche, like; “she was worth the wait”, and “she is the child for me”, and “I would do it all over again” and of course, it is all true. I once was certain my daughter was in China, and perhaps a second daughter is there for me, but today I know the delays in the China program and the seeming host of setbacks were part of the incredible set of circumstances that led me to this daughter, one I was destined to mother…My Nina Bea.
This will look great in my room

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