We Are Off
by, 05-14-2010 at 09:35 PM (3144 Views)
Ok, weíre set. Tomorrow weíre off, into the wild blue yonder of half way around the world to a place as remote and ancient as anywhere in the world, a place where westerners crossed over as part of the silk road to China, a place Marco Polo could have felt comfortable, though he didnít cross that way, a place where the first horses were supposed to have been domesticated, a culture over the centuries mixed with Mongols and Turks and Cossacks and Persians and Chinese, a vast land mostly of steppe on the one hand and mountains on the other. The Russians took over Kazakhstan and then the Soviets dominated them, but they could not obliterate the Kazak culture. They insisted on independence and their particular culture has re-sprouted. This is as different a place I have ever been to. Iíve never been anywhere where I at least couldnít get by with the language. I know two words (thatís two as in one, two) of Russian and nothing of Kazak. I canít even sound out the Cyrillic alphabet. I am literally going to another world.
And the trip will be brutal. We leave for the airport by mid afternoon tomorrow, wait for a early evening flight to Frankfurt, which will take eight hours, have a seven hour layover in Germany, then a seven hour flight to Almaty, the big city of Kazakhstan, which gets us in at midnight local time. Then we have to wait until about eight oíclock for our final flight to Shymkent, which should take about two hours. We arrive at our destination on mid Monday morning: total travel time just a mere 32 hours. Just.
And the whole reason we are doing this insanity is for this little one that is waiting for us to pick him and give him a home. This will be my child, my little one that I will hold in my heart for ever. Three years after we started this process and we will meet our child for the first time. Finally we will meet. We were longing for this little one before he was even born. Destiny is funny. Fate isnít always fickle. The great Roman emperors of the first and second century were all adopted. What isnít ours by conception is ours by love.
As many of you know, the process has not been easy. And itís not just the difficulty thatís the hardship. One climbs Mount Everest from base station to peak in about a month, perhaps two. One adopts a child in the span of years. Itís been long and there were definitely moments where we didnít think it would happen. The paperwork was endless, even mindless sometimes. I guess there are reasons for all of it. I guess. And itís still not over. My wife today was still running around Fed Exing crap and we have left stuff with my mother-in-law to address while weíre out there bonding with that little child. Parenthood is way easier than dealing with bureaucracies.
There is an interesting development on the process once weíre out there. The original process that was dictated to us was that once we selected the child, which is expected that first day, though I donít know what kind of shape weíll be in after 32 hours of travel, we have several weeks of bonding period with the child, and then initial court appearances. That was to be the first month. At that point I was going to return home while my wife would stay out there with the child and her mother would come out to keep her company. It would take another three to four weeks for the final legal transfer and I was going to fly back out there for the final transaction and the happy family would return as a group. That is still an option.
What they are offering is a better option in many respects but worrisome also. The first month is the same; we are both there for the bonding and the initial court appearances. But then we both come home and the final legal transactions will be performed by our agency contact in Kazakhstan Ė his name is Oleg Ė and then he will personally transport the baby across the world over to us. Now this is certainly much cheaper, my wife will not have to stay and maintain an apartment for another month, and Olegís flight is a tradeoff to my return flight. But Iím concerned about leaving my child in the care of anyone. And though he comes with a good reputation from my agency, and they swear heís done this many times before Ė three or four times a year actually Ė I donít know him from a hole in the wall. And what if either intentionally or not they give they send the wrong child over? What then? We donít have to make this decision until weíre out there, so Iíve put it off. Iíll have to assess Oleg myself when I see him. What do others think?
So this is my last blog for now, and with luck and technology I hope I can log on from out there. I still have some packing to do, and final reading decisions to make for the trip. Iíll be writing a daily journal and taking lots of pictures and hopefully if I can figure out how to work the video camera some movie clips. If I can post I will post. Hold us in your prayers.