Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A happy mother's day from Garrett!

Trip 2 Day 2 (Part 2)

My baby! My baby! I got to see my baby!
O.K. now normally, I wouldn't subject you all to each detail of my babyhouse visit, but a reunion this monumental deserves a little special attention.
We arrived at the babyhouse this morning with armloads of gifts. I had: 1) a huge bag of clothing donations which I didn't have room in my suitcase to carry on our first trip, 2) another big bag of containing 60 of those wonderful burp clothes that my talented mother-in-law Jill makes. The caretakers loved the ones that I brought on the first trip, so Jill made lots more, 3) chocolate chip cookies for the caretakers, 4) chocolate chip cookies for the "big kids", 5) a money donation for the babyhouse from my amazing sisters-in-law, and 6) a CD of photos of Sasha which Makhabbat will hold onto until his parents arrive to meet him at the end of the month.

Caroline and I were totally laden with gifts, but nonetheless I dropped it all in the waiting room and practically sprinted into the nursery to see my baby.... and there he was!!! Finally! My perfect little pumpkin was tied into the high chair with a strip of clothe, just like always, when his long-absent Mama pounced on him! You should have seen how bewildered he looked.
Anyway, I swooped him up and kissed him and changed him and kissed him. Then, just for good measure, I kissed him some more. Eventually, a very amused Makhabbat wrestled him from me long enough to saddle him with a fluffy pink hat and a quilted jacket. She handed him back and shooed me outside. We found a quiet spot and cuddled for a long moment. Here is the thing I am puzzling over. I can't tell if he remembers me or not. That month apart is an awful thing!!! He just snuggled himself into my shoulder and stayed there pressed against me like a little koala bear while I rocked and talked and sang. Every once in a while he would look up at me a seem to puzzle over me for a moment before settling his head back against my chest. I can't tell if he was confused and thinking "who in the heck is this woman" or if he remembered me and was thinking "I can't believe she came back." One thing is for certain; he was overwhelmed! When Makhabbat came over and tried to tease him into smiling, he wrinkled up his little face and started silently crying. The same thing happened when Caroline came over. My poor little bug! So that's what makes me think that he might remember me... he didn't cry when he looked at me... he just stared and then pressed his head into my shoulder. We will try to staunch my "mommy guilt" by saying that he definately might remember me. Oh, I love my sensative little boy, whether he remembers me or not.

After a while we were allowed to go in. Caroline stayed outside with the big kids for a while, yes, I mean Sasha's group... and they made a great game out of picking weeds and handing them to her. Garrett and I headed up to the music room and I unpacked all of his toys. He definately remembered them! Those little plastic keys went straight into his mouth. I also brought along a stuffed cat toy, which we are calling Koshka (russian for 'cat'). On our first trip Garrett always wanted to touch the old stuffed animals that the babyhouse has hung up on the walls, so I was pretty sure that he would like the stuffed animal I had for him at home. I decided to bring it along as a transitional item, so that he would have something familiar to him when he got home. Suffice it to say that Koshka was an instant sucess! Garrett loved him. He petted Koshka and smiled when I whisked Koshka's fur against his face. He chewed on Koshka's ear. He even cooed a little bit when he was playing with Koshka, and for my silent little Garrett that is a big deal.

Once we were in the music room my little guy started to warm up a bit. He was happy to play with his toys and smiled a bit when I tickled him and played games with his feet. I took him to the mirror and he stared at his cute little refection and banged his toy keys against the mirror. He was facinated by his auntie Caroline and kept staring at her.

Oh! He learned to crawl while we are gone. He can't quite get that tummy off the ground, but when he wants something he scoots off to get it. Very cute.

A little while later, Caroline and Makhabbat came in with Teri (the other mom adopting a baby from Garrett's group) and her new son Dylan. Makhabbat had also fetched the cookies that I made for the big kids, so I forced myself to leave Garrett for a moment and Caroline and I ran across the hall to give the big kids their treat. They had just come in from their playtime outside and looked a bit startled when we walked into their room, but when I sat down on the couch and announce "Pechenia! Pechenia!" (cookies! cookies!), they threw caution to the wind. I had a stampede of darling three year old on my hands! They were all there: Sasha (of course), Kerial, Ruslan, Karina, and about six others who's names I never learned. They are so cute. At the caregiver's prompting the all shouted "Spaceeba!" with big smiles and mouths full of cookies.

Then it was back to Garrett. When I came back into the room, he was sitting on Makhabbat's lap next to Teri and Dylan. Dylan and Garrett were both playing with Koshka and with eachother. Teri added funny commentary. For example. Garrett would lunge forward and grab Dylan by the cheek (Teri would say: "Oh, I like your face!"). Then Dylan would grab the strap of Garrett's overalls and try to chew on them (Teri would say: "Thanks, your outfit is nice too. Mind if I eat it?") This went on and on with the babies pawing all over each other like little puppies and Teri offering up "Look Who's Talking" dialogue.

All too soon our time was up and I had to return the baby who really is officially mine! Garrett grinned and shrieked with joy when he saw his caregiver. He loves those ladies. I hate for him to have any sorrow in his little life and I know that it's going to be really hard for him when they disappear. I only hope that I can bridge that gap and fill that void for him quickly! I love him so much.
When we got back to the cottage, Caroline and I dropped our stuff and wandered around the town for a couple hours. It is still the holiday weekend, and someone has set up a little stand in the plaza where they rent tiny cars to the children. Their were probably about eight of the zooming around, some controlled by their tiny occupants and some remote controlled by parents who followed behind at a distance. We wandered through the fabulous open air market which sells everything from fruit to shoes to car parts! As we started home we found that the fountains on the other side of Gorky park have been turned on, much to the delight of the kids. We we were almost home we happened upon a wedding party releasing a cluster of red balloons into the blue sky. It was all lovely.
I can't wait for tomorrow's visit!


Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day, Becca.
I have been following your blog since the beginning.
I will be traveling soon with my son, daughter in law and grandchild on a private visa. I have been told there is a 30 day limited stay for me. Since you mother and son traveled with you and you were there for 31 days, was that a problem.
Any adivse will be welcome.
Again, Congrats to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day Sweetheart! Calvin wishes you a sickabump mothers day and suggest you maybe have some banana chips with hummus (his new culinary creation - ! ) We love you!!!! GREAT update! Skype us if you can! - Your Husband and Son.

Anonymous said...

Hi Becca and Caroline!
Oh, my Gosh! Well, Happy Mother’s Day to you! I loved the update and darling pictures. Garrett is almost crawling! I loved that he took to the fussy Koshka right away! Now it will be bear-bear and Koshka everywhere you go.
I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Keep the detailed updates coming and keep enjoying life over there. So fun to see water in that fountain!
Love you all,

ethan said...

Your little guy is precious! I am staying at Hotel Kaz and am flying out early Thursday morning. I saw on your blog you are coming to Almaty on Tuesday. Let me know if you are staying at Hotel Kaz. I would love to meet you.
Mary Collier

Channing said...

Happy Mother's Day, Bec! I'm sure it was wonderful to be with Garrett and in two days he will be with you FULL TIME! Hurry home so that Carson can play with her new friend.


P.S. I love that Garrett thinks Koshka is wonderful. He'll think his new life is wonderful very quickly too.

Anonymous said...

To Echo Calvin's good wishes,

Wishing you an Oogle-Doogle Mother's Day, Becca!

Also, WE cannot wait until tomorrow's visit and another update on the Blog. We love it & remember, no detail is too small for the Blog - share them all!

Enjoy your day,

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day Rebecca!!
Hi Caroline!

Congratulations for becoming a mother for the second time!! I love seeing the new pictures of Garrett. He is such a sweet little love.

I can hardly believe that everything could turn so green so quickly. What a nice change to greet you and Caroline.

Sending love to all a of you,