I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 204 - Kazakhstan Part 20

Every Sunday, this blog will describe our life-changing trip to Kazakhstan in 2005 to adopt our two youngest children. While some of our friends and family have seen a few of the pictures, we've never put it all together in an organized format. One of the reasons is that I hesitate to subject others to a 21st century version of the endless slideshow of vacation photos harking to some relative's visit and a lost evening of my childhood. Still, the story must be told before details are lost since this is my children's unique birthright. When we get to the end of the story, I'll edit the posts together into an extended and separate blog page and then have it printed by one of the blog-to-book(let) services for my kids. For people with less interest, these posts will be easy to identify and avoid. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The morning had been consumed with our first official visitation with Nurlan. We were anxious to see what he would do when given building toys to engage his active mechanical sense. The whole visit had the overtones of patting a wild animal in a petting zoo and we were anxious to break down those barriers.

After a long nap, a quick lunch, and our first walk around the outside of the building by ourselves, we grabbed the teddy bear and the newly purchased rattle and waited for Inna and Dima to arrive to take us to visit Anastasiya.

When we first visited Baby House 1, we have been taken through the front door and waited on the shiny wooden bench in the front office. This time, Dima parked around back and Inna took us through the back door. We passed a massive kitchen and a laundry room. The smell of boiling potatoes mingled with detergent.

At the end of the long hallway was a brightly-colored room with a crib that must have been ten feet long on the sides. Babies lay on the crib on their backs and waved arms in the air. Outside the crib, some bigger babies were sitting in little wheeled walkers. Inna gestured for us to take off our shoes and leave them outside the door.

She spoke to the caregiver in Russian. The caregiver left the room and Inna told us to wait in the adjoining room. It was a very small room, perhaps 6 feet by 9 feet if that. There were two upholstered chairs with a small table between them. At head level on one end of the room was a wooden ledge and a small window. As we were in the basement, the window was at ground level and we could see a patch of sky by leaning against the wall and looking straight up.

We sat and chatted about the room. Since this was such a small room, that didn't take long and we were soon out of conversation. The room was so small that we couldn't both pace at the same time so we took turns. The little table held two photo albums. Each album followed a different family visiting in exactly this same room. Later pictures showed the children in the US in their new homes. The inscriptions were in Russian but it seemed that the albums had been sent back by the adoptive families to let the orphanage know that the children were well and happy. I recognized one set of children from an adoption listserv. They were "non-biological twins" -- children who were about the same age and adopted into a family but not biologically related. The message seemed to be, "We were here just like you. We got through it and built a happy family. And so will you."

As I finished the photo albums, the door opened as if on queue. The caregiver held Anastasiya, the baby with the somber face. She was held by the caregiver lightly. She neither clung nor held her arms out. She seemed to be wondering from a distance what was going to happen next.

The caregiver handed her to me and I could feel her wonderful weight and softness. She was heavier than she looked and her very solidness made her seem reassuring and healthy. I sat gingerly in the chair and looked at her. She stared unblinking and intently.
I checked her little hands and all the fingers were there. Her ears were nicely formed. My mother always covered her own ears, feeling that they were large and unattractive, and inspected the ears of any baby handed to her. Mom would approve of Anastasiya's ears. So would Terry's mom, who bemoaned her legacy of "Sander's ears," a trim and slightly elfin ear shape.

It would have been delightful to hold the baby between us but the small room and awkward furniture made that impossible. I handed the baby to Terry. She stared at him silently and then waved a pudgy little arm. He beamed.


Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

I you sure he's "beaming" here? I get a vague impression of, "I LIKE children, but I couldn't eat a WHOLE one.."

Burning Khrome said...

Perhaps that's why she used to look so worried all the time. I just thought it was because she was Russian.

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