Friday, June 23, 2006


Happy Friday to all!  It is for us, as this is our last Friday in Astana.  Does it sound like we are ready to be home??  Nothing personal against Kaz, we just can't wait!!!! (That's right, we are chummy enough to refer to this place as Kaz!!)

I mentioned on yesterday's post that last night we ran into the American's here playing tennis for Athletes in Action.  Their last day in Astana was today and several of them had their final matches beginning at 9:00 a.m. Soooo, we sacrificed and got out of bed around 8:00(pathetic isn't it) and hit the courts so we could see them all one last time and watch as much as we could.  They are such wonderful people and we feel so fortunate we were able to cross paths.  It was a beautiful morning and fun to watch tennis at that level.  We got the watch the #1 Kazak player who also is 300th in the world play against the #2or 3 player from Uzebekestan.  Lots of grunting and groaning going on but very skilled and fun to watch.  We thought we might even get lucky enough to see the President of Kazakhstan because they were setting up the platform and rolling out the carpet.  I think he was coming for the awards ceremony which we did not see because it was during our Baby House visitation time.  We said our goodbyes to our new American friends with emails in hand and hopes of one day crossing paths again.  One girl, Lindsay, actually lives in the great state of Ohio so it is possible I could be lucky enough to see her again since I travel there for work periodically. 

Last night, we saw a yummy looking cake and decided we could take it to the BabyHouse today and give it to the Dr.'s.  They do so much for those kids and they are so grateful anytime anyone does anything for them it was the least we could do.  We delivered the cake and headed up for our visit with little Jonathan.  We both got to go up today since it was cool outside(if you consider cool to be 75 degrees) but a welcome break from the heat and from entertaining him outside for two hours on a blanket.  We walked in and he was on his little potty chair so of course I have to embarrass the little guy and post that picture-it is so darn cute!!!  He just sits there with out moving and smiles when he sees us.  It truly amazes me.  We got him a new outfit today with sailboats on it and he looked dashing.  It was however a tad big on him.  I was thinking the 6-9 month clothes were fitting now but wouldn't be for long so I bought the 9 month size.  His shorts--well, for now they make good pants.  He still looks cute. 

Any concerns we had early on about crawling or anything with his development are forever put aside.  He is cruising around the playroom now like he is the king.  When you think about it, and now has finally dawned on us, when we arrived he was used to other people, and here we are talking to him in English which he had never heard before we got there.  No wonder he was slow to respond.  You come here expecting the delays in your mind but when you are actually faced with it all you can do is compare and wonder why he isn't doing what the next child is doing.  All is GRAND in the land of Jonathan.  Have I said what a gift he is??? 

Just when you thought I couldn't possibly top my sad story from last Sunday when we saw all of the children this one takes the cake. It brought me to tears and Bryan wasn't far behind me.  We were asked back into the Dr.'s office because they wanted to thank us for the cake but also we had to sign our names in the visitation book which we do every few days so the court knows we were actually here.  The office was a buzz with all 4 or 5 of the Dr.'s milling about, Dina was in there and then in one over stuffed chair off to the side was a precious little 3 year old Russian girl.  She had her little scarf on her head, the bluest eyes you have ever seen and little blond curls-appearing to be perfectly healthy.  The chair was big enough that her legs were stretched out straight in front of her and she had brand new shoes on which is what I was trying to talk with her about.  She didn't move a muscle and she wouldn't make eye contact with anyone.  Bryan and I both bent down to smile and talk with her even though she couldn't understand us and she wouldn't look at us but you could tell she was absolutely scared to death.  So-if you can imagine, here is this little princess, looking scared out of her mind.  We started thinking maybe we weren't supposed to be talking to her when the Dr.s told us(via Dina) that she was a newcomer.  We said "newcomer"-what do you mean.  They told us.  She had been abandoned 2 weeks ago at a bus stop or someplace horrible like that and the mother just walked away from her.  Let that sink in for a minute.  What kind of person could take their 3 year old child, old enough to know what was happening and turn their back in a busy place and walk away with no idea what would happen to them.  It was absolutely more than I could take and I started to cry in the office.  For me, it was her little scared face and for Bryan the magnitude of the size of the chair and how small she looked in comparison.  We wanted to take her home and of course that is not allowed-so please pray for this little girl that she is adopted by a family that can love her and help take her pain away.  I can't even do justice trying to describe this to you but her face is etched in our hearts. 

We attempted to eat our daily bowl of rice at our favorite place but we were both too upset to enjoy much lunch.  As Bryan said tonight walking home from watching the World Cup-no child anywhere should ever have to go through that. 

Ok-first you laugh then you cry-just like a cheap Harlequin Romance isn't it? 

We did manage to get some pictures of us with Jonathan printed for court on Monday.  The judge wants to see that first of all, we were both here(I guess some people have tried to pull a fast one in the past and one parent only shows up for the court date) and secondly to see how he is taking to us.  Coming up with pictures isn't a problem.  Bryan took care of that so we are ready for the big day. 

Finally, we took our walk today to the Chelsea Pub for some potatoe skins and Mozzeralla sticks and to watch the World Cup.  We are kind of getting in to it and Bryan is taking notes and honing his soccer coaching skills for the fall. 

Well, I better call it a day.  Rachael is now done with camp and my Dad is probably picking her up as I type so I want to try to call her while I can get her on my Dad's cell phone.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks for hanging in there with us through this whole journey.  It has made it pass with realative ease and much enjoyment. 

Peace to all!

The Drake's