February 23rd - Day 13: Feeding Emil for the first time
Today we had another special treat during our visit
with Emil. We got to feed him his
breakfast! When we arrived at the
baby house, they brought everything up to the music room.
I got to hold Emil and feed him
sounds like such a common, silly
thing but it meant so much to us
we are so looking forward to being able to
care for him and take care of his every need ourselves!
We had heard about yet were still surprised to see the enormous amount of
food he eats. They had a huge bowl
of cereal (cream of wheat) mixed with fruit puree and a cup of tea with a cookie
soaking in it. He was really good
about eating out of the spoon a teaspoon, not a baby spoon and I could
hardly keep up with him. After he
finished off the bowl, his caregiver scooped the soaked cookie into his bowl and
mashed it up with the spoon. Then I
fed it to him he loved it! Then
the caregiver held a towel under his chin and feed him the rest of the tea out of
the cup! Yes, tea!
(Im realizing that I need to find out what kind; Im assuming it is
herbal tea and not black tea.) Anyway,
it was such a treat to feed him and he did so well.
I was the one who made the biggest mess!
Then, about an hour later at 11, the caregiver came back with a bottle of
juice for him. It smelled like peach
or apricot and came in a glass bottle (a little like the old Coke bottles, but
narrower) with a long nipple. Dave
held Emil while he drank and he (Emil) quaffed it right down!
It was so cute to watch them together like that!
Between visits today, I did take the long walk down to the
Old Cathedral so I could take pictures of what we drove by on our tour
yesterday. Since I had written notes
to myself (military hospital - teal building on the left, Dept. of Education -
brown and red stucco building on the right) I remembered what most of the
buildings were. By the time I
reached the library, I was freezing! About
two blocks from the apartment, I remembered that I had forgotten to put on long
underwear and was too lazy to go back and change.
I thought I would duck inside the library to get warm.
So, I walked through the two sets of doors (to keep the cold air out)
into the foyer. The doorman was very
kind and kept trying to talk to me. I
had forgotten my little dictionary (as well as my long underwear) so I made the
motion that I was cold. I also tried
to say - by pointing to my eyes, pretending I was opening a book with my hands,
and pointing around in general - that I thought I might just look around.
Well, that sent him on a mission to find someone in the building who
could speak English! He took me
everywhere until we finally found a woman named
. I explained to her that I had come
in because I was cold and that, since my mother had been a librarian, I thought
it would be interesting to see what their library was like.
I dont know if youve ever had this feeling, but when she translated
for everyone else what I had said, I had the suspicion that something was lost
in the translation. They just looked at me with no expression.
(Kind of a creepy moment.) I
added that I thought that it would be interesting to see the children reading (I
had seen several mingling about) and I guess that was a good idea because then
everyone seemed to lighten up and she then led me on a tour of the whole
building. I saw 5 and 6 year olds
playing checkers in the childrens section, 9 year olds copying notes from a
book in another classroom, senior high students studying in yet another room.
I was shown the arts department where they had a little room with
benches, a TV, and a VCR for educational movies, two record players with a large
selection of LPs, and posters of flora and fauna.
They proudly showed me a computer room with a couple of very nice
computers and a fairly large TV; they also showed me a nice collection of books
published in the
introduced me to the woman in charge of the theater arts.
I got to see the room where they do their puppet shows and the collection
of puppets the lady had made by hand. I
was also very impressed with the way she converted a cardboard box into a
beautiful stage for the puppets. As
we toured the building, I kept trying to get clarity from
as to whether it was a library or a school; Masha later explained that its a
childrens library. One woman I
met was an older babushka-type lady
short, stout and cute and with quite
good English. She had apparently
taught English for 34 years. While I
wasnt allowed to take pictures of any of the children, I was able to get
pictures of some of the women I met and the doorman insisted on getting a
picture with me in front of the building. They
were so nice to me. I kept saying
spa CEE ba (thank you) a thousand times over.
While I entered the building with the intention of getting warm, I came
out with a lot more
the warmth of a great experience with some beautiful
Kazakh people. So much of what
were doing here is overseen (thankfully) by people who know what theyre
doing, know who to talk to and when, and have experience with adoption
proceedings in Kazakhstan. We have a driver who takes us
around and a translator to help us communicate, whenever we feel its
necessary. Were grateful for
their company, expertise, guidance, and support.
Yet, personally, I love the kind of travel experience I had today, where
Im on my own, with no plan and no map, so-to-speak, and the adventure just
takes on a life of its own! It was
just great! Just what I needed!
I left the library and walked the rest of the way down the street to the
Old Cathedral where Dave and Igor picked me up on the way to see Emil this
This afternoon, we found out that we're now able to go
home (from Almaty) on the 15th. So, first we were going home on the 12th,
then the 17th, and now on the 15th. We've decided to wait a few days
before we change our tickets again in case there are any other changes!
We'll keep you posted!
starting to feel like I really like this place ... the slow pace even though
its a city, the simple, unhurried lifestyle, getting by with basic needs (I
dont even NEED hot water, really). I feel like I really want to soak up
the essence of the city so that I pass it on to Emil.
Dave, on the other hand, is feeling a little under the
weather. Hes been fighting
something for days and now it seems he might have some intestinal bug.
Were hoping its nothing and that a good nights sleep will make
him feel better by morning.
watching Mommy feed
part ... cookie soaked in
The rest of the tea
Daddy feeding his
Ladies at the library