The Beat Goes On…

October 24, 2008 at 2:01 am 4 comments

Friday, October 24, 2008: Day 52 in Kostanai
The past week has been very hectic and I have a lot to catch up on. We’ve now concluded both of our court dates, successfully, and Doug has left for home. Sorry about not posting court proceedings as they happened but, I admit it, we’re paranoid and just wanted to keep our hearings to ourselves until they were finally finished.

Although our final court date [court pic on the left] seemed to come soon after pre-court, the entire time from when we first applied for a court date until the finale was typical. Of course, one thing to realize before coming here and having an expected timeline is that nothing is really “typical”. There are so many variables that can factor in; holidays, judge assignment, having all documents in order and updated, the ability of coordinators to find birth parents AND bring them into court on a date assigned by a judge, schedules of everyone that must attend the court hearing (the judge, Department of Education and baby house personnel, and the prosecutor), and who knows what else.

What I’ve gathered from talking with others and reading Blogs is that the entire process seems to take anywhere from 6-8 weeks (and sometimes a little longer) from the start of the first official visiting date. We were lucky and able to dutifully complete all of our requirements within the six-week period.

Our pre-court seemed slightly less formal with questions focusing on such topics as employment, family’s thoughts on adoption, ability to raise a child, our opinions of Kostanai and Kazakhstan, and care for the child during the day (“Who will be home with the child?”). The orphanage director also commented on our daily visits, that we brought in clothing and diapers, had visited the baby house every day and were successfully bonding with our child. There was a slight side conversation on the movie, Borat, in which we assured the judge that we already work to convince others that this is not what Kazakhstan and its people are really like and that the main character is not even an American. She seemed satisfied with that and our pre-court was concluded.

Final court was more stressful and more formal. Again, held in the judge’s chambers, the prosecutor was ready with questions concerning our paperwork and needed to be assured that K had been offered to Kazakhstan citizens before he was made available for a foreign adoption. (He had and there are signatures of proof.) We were both incredibly nervous before and during the proceeding. I never knew Doug’s hands could get so cold and clammy!

There were fewer questions this time but each of us needed to stand and answer our share. It was noted that I was a teacher of middle school students but was then directly asked if I had any experience with younger children. Luckily, being the oldest of five, I’ve changed a few diapers (yes, Tom and Joel) and had my share of babysitting. It was satisfactory. Doug, I can’t remember what was asked of you. I was too nervous!

I was happy that I couldn’t follow much of the conversation in Russian because I probably would have been twice as anxious if I actually understood what was going on. Sometimes “ignorance IS bliss”. After what seemed to be a lengthy hearing but was only a little over thirty minutes, we were congratulated as the court recommended the adoption to be “best for the child”. Tah-dah! We were parents, sort of. There is still the official 15-day waiting period and a court decree that needs to be issued at the end of it.

With the excitement of finishing our court proceedings came the sadness that Doug needed to return home. Like many couples, we’ve had our trips apart and time alone but the thought of Doug leaving from this city we’ve grown to love and our routine we’ve developed as we become a family of three seemed much more distressing than I had expected. I have no worries about being here alone; the neighborhood is safe, I’m familiar with my neighbors, I know my way around, and have friends and acquaintances from both the U.S. and Kostanai. What made me feel most sad is that the remainder of my time here will feel incomplete while I miss the person who makes me laugh, shares in my adventures and frustrations, is wonderful with our son-to-be, and has made my time here so much more meaningful and valuable than if I had come alone.

It was difficult to bring Doug to the airport and say goodbye and even more so on my first visit to the baby house alone. I truly felt like a huge part of me was missing (and, I have to admit, it was noticeable not having another pair of hands). K was very clingy that day and I know he noticed that Doug was not there. I know I certainly did. Doug is wonderful with K and all of the children (and caretakers) in the baby house. He is and will be an amazing dad!

My walks to the market are now much shorter and more purposeful while my drive to explore has slightly diminished. Oh, I still get out and walk around, but it just isn’t as much fun when you are doing it alone. Doug, I miss you and love you! Just a few more weeks to go.

On that note, not being one to sit around and mope I am certainly keeping busy. Doug’s only been gone for a couple days (I think…it is so easy to lose track of time) and I’ve already had friends over for dinner two nights, cleaned a flooded apartment, and am halfway through a new knitting project.

Although I spend less time at the markets, I am going almost every day. It is a good walk and a great place to pick up fruits and vegetables. Because food here has few or no preservatives, it is best to buy fewer items and shop more frequently. Walking to the grocery store and markets are a great way to get out and a great way to exercise. (I also tried a new yoga DVD…ouch, I’m feeling it today.)

The local theatre has been sponsoring cultural events this month and our coordinator and I are planning to attend a German play in the next day or so. She is also going to take me to a deli near our apartment so that I can try more of the local cuisine (she mentioned a potato pie) and tomorrow, I’m planning a walk to the bazaar near Natascha’s to shop for gifts for K’s caregivers.

Kostanai still has much to offer even though it is my 52nd day in the city. There are people to call and sites to see but I have to admit that I’m starting to feel the pull to go home even stronger now that my best friend has gone. Of course, my being here is a benefit for him as I’m out of the way while he completes a “to do” list that needs to be done before K and I come home. (Did I mention that we just got running water and there is still no heat in the house? Yes, the addition is being built and the new furnace should be put in this week, Doug hopes. ☺ )

I’ve still much to write about the city of Kostanai so there will be more to come and, I’m sure, more to discover before I leave.

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Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption.

When it Rains, it Pours A Busy Day

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tricia  |  October 24, 2008 at 5:44 am

    Kelly, I know it was not easy for Doug to leave you there on your own even though you are doing well and have made friends. Chris said that was the toughest thing to do, to get on the plane and leave me half way around the world. You are Doug’s best friend, too, and I am sure he is missing you just as much! It will be a sweet reunion for you when you arrive plus one 🙂 Congratulations on your successful court dates! Tricia

    Reply
  • 2. ellen  |  October 24, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Yes, congrats on the court dates! I can’t wait to see K in real life!
    Take care.

    Reply
  • 3. Mum  |  October 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    We also are very anxious for you to come home. A whole new wonderful adventure is coming.

    Love

    Reply
  • 4. Susan  |  October 26, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Hey, I know the feeling when your sweetie leaves-first it was just Joe-then I had Sean. then Sean and Joe left after court, and I was afraid I’d be so lonely…but then i found myself WAY BUSIER than I was before (Sean is not a big walking around the market fan…) because I MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE who liked to help me spend my money!
    So happy to hear that you are having fun, making new friends, and time away from your honey does make you realize even MORE HOW MUCH YOU APPRECIATE THEM.

    I have NO IDEA how Joe made the trip 3x, but I am so grateful that he did.
    You will love the ergo on the way home with K-it’s a lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG WAY HOME (32 HOURS for us, including our 9 hour layover in frankfurt) but Leeza traveled like a champ-and the ergo was wonderful. I could lug 2 carryon’s plus Leeza no problem. You’ll also be glad you have it when you spring K from the baby house. Leeza still loves it-i hope she lvoes it when she is walking all the time too…she is getting more and more strong and mobile.

    your time is coming to a close in Kostanai-and home is wonderful and surreal-you feel like you won the baby lottery and you just want to pinch yourself as you wonder if it’s really true-you are home with your SON!

    so happy for you Kelly-and you and doug are GREAT PEEPS.

    🙂

    Reply

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