Monday, May 26, 2008

"Meetcha" Day

This morning we were up early (time is all screwed up for us) and were ready to go when our translator, coordinator and drivers arrived to take us to Tokmok.The drive was a little over an hour and I soaked up all the sights and culture that I could.

There were several things that struck me as we traveled along to Tokmok. There are lots of animals, but no fences -- anywhere. There are also no lines on the road as you get out of the city of Bishkek. It's pretty much drive anywhere you like as long as you don't hit anyone else.The country area is poor, but so beautiful with their fields and animals and snow capped mountains on one side and hillsides on the other. Our driver, Vladimir, tried to tell us some things (in Russian) and we were able to pick out some things, mainly from reading about other's experiences from the Kyrg yahoo list. There are a lot of people on the sides of the road and there is a strong smell of exhaust pretty much every where. Lots of kids out playing with no apparent supervision. Farmers working in the fields are abundant the further out you get. Their homes are mishmash "put-together-what-you-have" homes. It's very different from where we live. I took a bunch of photos along the way and will share a few here. Mainly I want Ellie to have a nice visual reference of the country from where she came -- even if it's just the road from Bishkek to Tokmok.

When we got to the orphanage, they took me right away to the baby room where they pointed out Aimana. My first thought was, "This isn't her." I checked the name and the birth date and they matched but I was just not prepared for how very tiny she is. When I asked her weight, they checked the latest numbers and told us 2.9 kgs, which converts to 6.4 pounds. They then told me they would wrap her up and let me take her outside. Imagine my surprise to know that I would get to show her to Joshua!! We weren't expecting to be able to as we were told he would not be allowed to see her. She is so tiny and so light and so delicate. A couple of days ago, she scraped her eyelid and there is a small red mark there. She has long fingers and tiny, tiny hands. We managed to get a while alone with her, sitting outside and got her hat off so we could see her hair. It's dark and has some wave to it. Very cute!!! We never got her to open her eyes. We tried blowing on her, calling her, moving her around. We thought we were close once, but she just went back to sleep. Since she was a preemie, we are thinking she just needs more sleep. She had some rapid eye movement (REM) going on so we think she was in a deep sleep.

We were told that we would not be able to sit down and talk with the director/doctor today as her office was being remodeled/painted but that we would be able to do that on our next visit on Wednesday.

Joshua seems totally enamoured by her. He got to hold her with us holding underneath and he just touched her and talked about how tiny she was. He got really upset when he thought we were saying she couldn't open her eyes. He said, "Is she blind?" He almost cried.

As luck would have it, our batteries died while we were there. We managed to get quite a few photos, however. We were told it might be better to wait on the video for now.

For those of you waiting for photos of your babies, we did not ask today since it was the first day. We will wait until a couple more visits when they feel comfortable with us and then ask Aliya to snap them for you.

We are now back in the hotel. We've walked back over the Beta Store and got more sodas and water. I am HUNGRY and there is really no where to go right now. Elizabeth and Bill are going with us for dinner to the American Pub and Grill. We hear the food there is good. I hope so. I'm certain to overeat. :-) Breakfast this morning was ok. There is a "buffet" (not like the U.S., really) and we had ham, olives, pickles, bread with butter and jam, tea and juice. There were some other items, but I didn't have a clue what they were so I didn't try it.

UPDATE: We didn't go out to dinner as it began to rain here and we didn't want to have to take a cab and worry about getting back. After I had a breakdown due to lack of food and sleep, Kevin found that the Dolce Vita delivers and we ordered two pepperoni pizzas and devoured them both. Josh fell asleep shortly after that (I'm NOT TIRED!!! were his words only seconds before falling out asleep). Kevin fell asleep in the chair and has now been sent off to bed and I'm following as soon as I hit "Publish Post".

Here's a small "teaser" photo as we are not allowed to post photos of her until she is officially ours.

I'll do some posts with photos of the town/cities when I return home.


Kelli said...

Such long, tiny fingers! I am sure she is adorable!!!

Gen 's Family Story said...

I love hand pics!!! Yeah!!! What a heart Joshua has!!