You know you've been in Kazakhstan too long when:
Part of the joy of keeping a website on international adoption is NOT having an FAQ section for common questions--because there really aren't any common ones. Almost everyone who posts or e-mails us, or folks we've talked to at home before leaving, have different questions about the process. And if there were a common or "frequently asked" question about our adventure, there are no easy answers.
One fairly common but unspoken question is "Why are you doing this?"
Aliya has the great fortune of being the youngest now of four crazies. As an only child, I can hardly appreciate how much fun this must be--but I can watch it. All day long, in our tiny apartment. Here are some photos of our yesterday--one day in the life of Aliya, and all the new influences surrounding her.
We have made it through January and were happy to welcome February!! Today we were able to take Bestemor and Bestefar and the boys to see the baby house where Aliya spent her first eight months. It was a quick visit, and some of our favorite caregivers were off today, but it was so great to be able to share this piece of Aliya's life with them.
We got quite a treat today. Our new friend Rob runs a Kazak cultural center devoted to the traditions and culture of the native people from the "Silk Road," including parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and parts of other countries. He arranged to have someone pick us up and drive us to the cultural center where they treated us to a wonderful Kazak lunch.
We have packed up and gone out twice now---all 8 of us!! It is no small feat getting on 14 boots, 7 jackets, 1 snowsuit, 9 hats (remember Aliya has to have 2), 18 mittens (again--Aliya with 4), and 8 scarves. By the time we are all dressed, we silently pray that no one will have to go potty!!
Well, they are here and I am happy! My quiver is full---my chicks are all in a row, where I can see them, touch them, hug them and guide them!! I don't think I truly realized how much I missed those boys until they walked through the apartment door at 2 am last night!!
Now that the competition has heated up in the chow line, Aliya doesn't want to be outdone. She can pack it in, for sure, but she can also wear her meals very well. This here is rice cereal with formula, some apples and carrots, and some graham cracker. We're leaving it there for her next meal.
Since she's destined for competition in this area, we wanted to give her a catchy stage name that she can use, and wanted to orient it around the word "slop." So there you have it.