...we were in Uralsk, Kazakhstan. It had snowed that day, for the first time on our trip, and a fresh white coat had covered up all the mud and the dirt that had been so pervasive up until that point. We looked at the snow as a good omen (although our travel partner, Donna, who was from Buffalo, thought otherwise). We went to court, slipping and sliding along the sidewalks in the nose nipping cold. The court proceedings started off, only to be cut short by the sound of a bulldozer right outside the window. The judge moved us all into his chambers, where I stood and made a statement about why we wanted to adopt Lisa. David gets all emotional when he talks, so I was nominated. The judge saw that we had visited her for 14 days in the Baby House, and the Baby House Director testified that Lisa (then Asel) had bonded with us and that she recommended that he approve the adoption. He did.
The afternoon was a flurry of buying flowers, assembling gifts for the Baby House staff and rushing around signing documents at various official looking places. We finally came to the Baby House with Asel's "going home" outfit, which we turned over to her caregivers. It was a sort of tradition that the ladies who had cared for her the first 3 years of her life would dress her for the last time, and to say their good byes. Again, I was chosen to give a little speech to all the ladies of the Baby House. I'm not emotional, but let me tell ya, I blubbered like a little baby. I told them I would never let Lisa forget her first mothers. Or her birth country.
We took Lisa back to the apartment, where we gave her a bath, washed her hair, and dressed her in her flowered nightgown. We had a dinner of meat dumplings and fruit. She slept with me the first night, as we had no crib, and poor David slept on the bed of nails ... er, I mean couch. Not long after we fell asleep, I was awakened by the very loud sound of her sucking her middle two fingers.
Tonight we celebrated with a dinner at her favorite "dress up" restaurant, 131 Main. Everyone was in a great mood, and a fine time was had by all. Even her brothers were nice to her ... a small miracle.