October 22, 2008
Bonding Day 2
Yesterday was considered my first official bonding day with my baby girl, and today I finished day two. Only 12 more days of required bonding to go!
Yesterday, I also told you my child’s Kaz name, Marzhan, but I didn’t mention the name I chose for her way back at the beginning of this whole process. Although Marzhan is indeed a gorgeous name meaning beautiful soul, I will proudly name my daughter Emilia Jeanne after my maternal and paternal grandmothers. These two extraordinary women traveled from foreign lands to start new lives in America and made it their home. Emilia will be doing the very same thing.
I feel that in honoring the memory of my grandmothers by naming my daughter after them, I am also offering Emilia a tie to her family history. She is now part of a long line of very strong, loving and caring women.
I was very eager to see Emilia this morning, and I was waiting outdoors for my driver and translator to pick me up. When we got to the baby house, I dressed Emilia in her new clothes and strapped a bib around her neck. It was time for her to eat. Although I have had experience feeding children, Emilia seemed unhappy and fussy. The baby nurse came in to show me how they usually feed the babies, and Em ate like a trooper. Apparently, when the nurses at the baby house feed the babies, they hold them in such a way that the children’s heads hardly move, and they can’t see the bowl of food. I was fascinated, though I’m not sure that I can exactly mimic this holding move. Emilia didn’t move at all; she simply ate up all the porridge and was done in a flash. She was very happy after that! We played for awhile, and all too soon it was time to go.
This afternoon I decided to venture out to the corner store. It was a short walk, and it felt great to breathe in some fresh, cool air. I was a bit surprised by the layout of the store. All the food is behind glass counters, and you have to tell the attendant what you want (kind of like a bakery). Since I couldn’t read any of the packaging and didn’t want to wind up with something raw or an item I detest, I went for safe foods I could identify: a green apple, a banana, a chocolate bar, a Pepsi Light (not called diet here), a bag of raisins and an ice cream cone.
It was in the 40’s here today, but I still couldn’t wait to have my ice cream cone. I happily sat in a park eating it and watching the world go by. It was a simple experience, but one I really enjoyed. I just loved the fact that I was sitting in Kaz eating an ice cream outside in cold weather. It was somewhat surreal!
My afternoon visit with Emilia also went well, but I find she’s more tired late in the day. Since she’s still very young, she doesn’t really play. Rather, she puts anything she can in her mouth, including whatever she’s wearing. She would have ingested the top of her overalls if it were possible. I also find that Emilia constantly wants to be held, and she loves when I give her kisses on her cheeks. I gave her a couple of “Zurburts” (remember the Cosby Show episode?), and she went wild!
After our visit, which ended much too soon, Aliya and I decided to go for a walk. Vladimir dropped us off in front of the Russian Orthodox Church, which I had admired during a previous ride. I ventured inside and was surprised that there was a service in progress. I would have liked to have stayed – I’ve never been to a Russian Orthodox service – but I didn’t want to keep Aliya waiting. (Note: Aliya was pictured in yesterday’s blog post with Emilia.)
On the way back to the hotel, we ran into a friend with whom Aliya used to work. He was going to a local pub and asked for us to join him, so we did. Although I enjoy dinners at the Pushkin, it was fun to venture out and see and eat something new. I had a yummy pork kabob.
Aliya and I then walked home, and I had the chance to see the city at night. We passed a major theater and a big government building that was lit in green lights. It seems that several buildings are illuminated this way in the evenings, and it casts a rather pretty glow.
I really enjoy spending time with Aliya and feel very lucky to have her as my translator. Yesterday we discovered we have the same birthday – though admittedly I am significantly older. We think this is an amusing connection, but I think it’s further evidence that I’ve found a kindred spirit.
I would be remiss in closing tonight without commenting on the many prayers and tremendous support I have been receiving since I’ve been in Kaz. I believe I am a witness to the power of prayer in our lives, and I thank all of you who have asked God to strengthen and guide me on this journey. Your support, encouragement, friendship, and love have given me courage and hope. I am so happy that I can share my adoption journey with you. Thank you for playing a very big supporting role during this chapter in my life. Its importance to me can never be fully measured.