Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Victory Day and a Change in Plans

Trip 2 Day 1
Spring has arrived in Kokshetau, bringing with it so many changes that I barely recognize the town I lived in just a few short weeks ago. First and foremost, it is warm and green.
Gone is the snow and the grey slosh in the gutters. Add to the spring splendor the fact that everyone in Kokshetau is off work to celebrate the three day holiday known as Victory Day, commemorating the Red Army’s victory over the Nazi forces in WWII, and you’ve got a lovely time in Kokshetau. All over town, families lounge in the grass and listen to the yellow winged sparrows singing on the leafy branches above them. There are bands playing on the grandstand outside of Gorky park. Little boys clambered all over several tanks that the army rolled out to Gorky Park. The high schoolers ran a series of spirited relay races up and down the main street, with full police blockades. Caroline and I were interviewed by a group of talkative college girls who desperately wanted to try out their English. Everyone is dressed to the nines: little boys are in suits, veterans wear rows of gleaming metals on their chests, and the little girls have the silliest frothy lace bows tacked to the tops of their heads. Kokshetau stepped out to welcome us in a fine style.
The only thing missing is… my family!!! Everything here reminds me of the wonderful time we had together on our first trip and how nothing is nearly as beautiful or amazing when they are gone. Somehow, I failed to realize that in longing to return to Kazakhstan I was actually just longing to relive the wonderful moments that Tim, Calvin, Mom, Garrett, and I shared here as a happy family. I can’t do that without them here! Now, watching the kids ride their bikes in the plaza outside Gorky park, or watching the families eat ice cream on the grass promenade, only makes me miss my own dear ones. I want Calvin to be here to chase bubbles with Ali and his sister. I want Tim to be here to cook up wonderful meals that make the cottage feel like a home. I want my mom to be here to be the glue that binds us all together. I thought, in coming back, I would experience the same happiness that I had before only multiplied because I would have Garrett with me too. What I found, however, was that my wonderful family and not this lovely city, is the magic key that makes everything beautiful. I can’t enjoy this place without them. Without them, it’s just another city. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not here to settle back in for another thirty days. I’m here to close this chapter in my life and to bring my baby home.
On that subject, there have been some scheduling changes, so please make a note. All of the government offices are closed for the Victory Day holiday and will only re-open on May 12th. What this means to me, dear friends, is that I can visit Garrett at the babyhouse on the 10th and 11th, but I may not take custody of him until I fill out the last of the paperwork on the 12th. To say that I am disappointed doesn’t quite cover it. I thought that Garrett was going to be in my arms as my very own for Mother’s Day. Now I find that I just get a visit. I flew all the way around the world just to be held off for another couple of days. Oh well.
There is a silver lining to the new schedule and that is this… Garrett will have two days to slowly warm back up to me before I take him away from the babyhouse. I had been worried about his reaction to being torn away from his “home” by a woman he hasn’t seen for a month. With two days of visitation before I take custody, Garrett will get a chance to remember who I am before I take him. Hopefully that will make the transition easier for him… which really is the only important thing.
In other news, we are not staying at the cottage. Instead we are across town near the Tsum store and Gorky park staying in our coordinator, Shizada’s home.
She, her husband, and her son have moved out temporarily and are staying in their guest house next door. Shizada’s house is lovely (I'll give a tour later) and perhaps it is a good thing not to be in the cottage again because it would only make me miss Tim, Cal, and Nana even more. New cottage for a new trip, right? That’s a good thing.
Finally, I’m flying to Astana to Almaty on the night of May 12th, the same day that I pick up Garrett. We are going to pick him up and just keep driving to the airport. Eeek!
Wish me luck. I promise I’ll cheer up... I feel better already... after all, I get to hold my baby tomorrow!!!


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you for making that journey again honey! Hey - at least now you are closer to the Tsum store and the o-so delicous cherry juice. Can you go the glass building and buy me a knife sharpener, like the one in the old cottage? Thanks. I love you honey! Go get that baby!

Anonymous said...

Hey Becca,

We are estatic to see that the Blog is Back! Maybe you could just continue with it for a couple of months or so when you get back. We love being with you on your adventures.

PS: Yes, its time for some new and wonderful memories with your sister Caroline - how neat that practically your entire family has gotten to be in Kazahkstan and will always be able to relate directly to the experience when you talk about it because they were there too. Adopt another child after this, and I'll go with you!

Enjoy the wonderful weather over there & say hello to Baby Garrett.

Anonymous said...

pps: Any details on Sasha's adoption???!! We're dying to know!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Kokshetau in the spring! I can hardly believe the green!

We miss you so much too! Calvin is “Having a blast” being 100% silly and totally happy. As you know is a perfect little guy. We have many more projects yet to do to get ready for your late Mother’s Day and Garrett homecoming. He is such a great helper!

Hurry and see Garrett! By the 12th he will ready to love you forever. His will be a good transition for him. He is such a doll! Say Hi to Makahabbat for me.

Love you too Caroline! You too have fun together and we will be ready for your next Skype!

On the home front – this time in California and missing you from the other side of the world…

Love you so much,


Channing said...

Wow, you really have hit what seems to be ALL of the Kaz holidays on your two trips over there!

I hope the 10th and 11th go fast for you! Happy Mother's Day!