November 3, 2008
Bonding Day 14
I have finally reached bonding day 14 – WOO HOO! This means that I have completed my first major hurdle and can now apply for pre-court. Zoure, who I have not met but is the coordinator for the Western Kaz region, is flying into Uralsk tomorrow afternoon, and she will most likely present my paperwork to the judge on Wednesday. I am hoping that the judge then sets pre-court for Thursday. The sooner the better, I say!
Although the official bonding period is complete, I will still continue to see Emilia twice a day (once a day on weekends) at the baby house. However, she will not come into my custody until I go to court. The court date will be set when I go to pre-court.
I was surprised to hear Emilia crying when I arrived at the baby house this morning. Obviously, all babies cry, but it still makes me sad to know that something is bothering her. I took Emilia from the baby nurse, and when I was changing her clothes, I started to sing a lullaby to distract her. Much to my delight, she stopped crying! It is a great joy that I can use my singing voice as a weapon against baby tears! I don’t know if it will always work, but so far so good.
During Em’s breakfast, she decided to sing, too. There wasn’t an actual tune, of course, but she was exercising her voice in that cute way that babies do. It was all happy highs and lows! It made me laugh to hear it, and I encouraged her to “sing” for me some more. We’re not quite ready for a duet, but I’m hopeful for the future.
Since pre-court is supposed to be this week (cross your fingers), I had to go with both Aliya and Shonara to the notary. This is a more time consuming, complicated and expensive procedure than it is back home. Shonara was actually present to verify that Aliya truly is acting as my translator.
This afternoon I decided to surprise Emilia with a new friend, so I brought along Bongo, a sock monkey from Em’s cousins, Dan and Elena. She eyed Bongo when I took him out of my bag, grabbed hold of him, and promptly put his head in her mouth. Clearly, Emilia is not terribly discriminatory when it comes to sucking on things.
When I handed Emilia back to the baby nurse at the end of our afternoon visit, I asked Aliya to translate the
words that were written on the back of Em’s pants. “Life is good,” she said in Kazakh. After completing the bonding period, I agree. Life IS good.